The main aim of the pre-draft process every year is to evaluate the risks and potential rewards tied to selecting each player available. Those prospects who represent very little ‘risk’ are considered safe picks. Even though they may not offer the high end ceiling some of their counterparts. While many NFL teams salivate over high potential phenoms, the NFL also values those players who you can slot into the starting lineup right away with very few concerns. Here are the safest prospects at every position on offense. To make this interesting, I have not decided to not allow myself to choose anyone I have a first round grade on.
QB – Brett Rypien, Boise State
It is hard to consider any QB a safe pick considering how much landing spot can shape a young prospect’s career. However, Rypien has adequate accuracy to all levels, has flashes of throwing with anticipation and sees the field well. Some may question his arm strength, but I think he throws with enough velocity for it not to limit him in the NFL. I am confident that Rypien can at the very least be a spot starter type QB in the league.
RB – Damien Harris, Alabama
Harris is lost in the shuffle in an RB class with a lot of day two talent. The Bama standout isn’t the most exciting back and has limited upside, but he is as rock solid as you will find. With Harris, you know what you’re getting, a physically limited player with the vision and three down skillset to be efficient when called upon. Harris projects as a solid 1b in a backfield committee.
WR – Terry McLaurin, Ohio State
What do you get with McLaurin? Route running, athletic ability and a special teams ace. McLaurin is heavily slept on, but projects as a rock solid pro. He has few glaring weaknesses as a receiver and is refined in his route running and release work. He tested really well at the combine and NFL teams will love his efforts on special teams. With McLaurin, you are getting an NFL ready player on both offense and special teams.
Slot – Hunter Renfrow, Clemson
Good old Mr Reliable. There is a role for someone like Renfrow at the next level. The dude catches everything and runs incredibly crisp routes. Being able to be a reliable target for a QB and consistently separate will allow him to carve out a niche in the slot. You know what you’re getting with Renfrow. While he is limited, he can be a safety valve out of the slot in any offense.
TE – Foster Moreau, LSU
Moreau checks the boxes as an athlete and in line blocker. His pass game production is limited, but he flashes solid hands and picks up yards after the catch with his size and physicality. In the run game, he straight up snatches peoples souls. With a desirable NFL frame and solid testing numbers, he is everything the NFL is looking forin a mid round TE. He will be a very solid #2 TE in the NFL with the potential to become a solid starter.
OT – Bobby Evans, Oklahoma
Evans is being seriously overlooked right now. He is an experienced tackle prospect with the nastiness you like to see in the run game and power to generate movement in the run game and anchor in pass protection. He has the chance to be a decent starter on the right or left side at the next level.
iOL – Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
I talked to a prospect who was at the Shrine Game and asked them who the best player there was. Their answer, Lamont Gaillard. An experienced starter for Georgia, Gaillard has held his own against some of the best players in college football. He’s got a strong base, uses his hands well in pass pro and plays with leverage in the run game. Gaillard projects as a starting center in the NFL right off the bat.