The 2013 NFL draft is the wrong draft to go into with the strategy of making "safe" picks. The 2013 draft class has a shortage of sure-thing draft selections, with many of the draft class’ top prospects coming with big upside but also significant risk factors.
When considering which 2013 draft prospects are the surest bets to be successful NFL players, there are a lot of criteria to consider.
Has the player been consistently productive for multiple years? Did he play at the highest level of competition in college? Will the player have the same success against bigger, faster athletes in the NFL? Does he have a clean bill of health? Has this player had any character issues?
Many of the draft’s top prospects fail to meet at least one of these criteria.
The list of safe picks has gotten even thinner in the past two weeks following the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, with the stock of two of the draft's top prospects now in flux. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o now faces character questions surrounding the revelation that his well-publicized deceased girlfriend never existed, while Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones is recovering from a Lisfranc injury to his foot.
The early rounds of the draft are bound to be full of risky draft selections, but which players should teams feel safest about investing an early pick in?
While risk factors can certainly arise at any time in the next three months, these are the 10 players who currently look like the best low-risk choices and the "safest" picks in the 2013 NFL draft.