2012 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting the Safest Picks on the Board

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting the Safest Picks on the Board
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

In the NFL draft, there are two basic types of players: high-risk/high-reward and safe. 

Safe picks have the intelligence, technique and abilities to perform in the NFL. Far too often in suggesting safe picks, analysts focus far too much on the first two attributes and not enough on the latter.

The high-risk/high-reward prospect is the opposite. He is raw, talented and full of potential. 

The safe pick may have huge potential, or he may not. That's not the point. In the worst-case scenario, a safe pick will be a good player.

The rare safe pick with freakish upside is an unbelievable prospect. Those are your Calvin Johnsons, Joe Thomases and Peyton Mannings.

Some of the safe picks to follow have that type of upside. Others will never be great, but all of them will be good.

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