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NBA Draft 2011: Jimmer Fredette and the 5 Safest Picks Among Top Prospects

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NBA Draft 2011: Jimmer Fredette and the 5 Safest Picks Among Top Prospects
Al Bello/Getty Images

There are a ton of draft projections out there, and despite the multitude, most are eerily similar. The best players, after all, are the best players.

So let’s take this discussion in another direction. Let’s not talk about who the best players are, but talk about which top ranked players are the safest picks. Who is a gamble and who is sure to not just be a big draft name, but play a big game for a career?

Another way to think about this question is to visualize a continuum with potential on one side and skill on the other. A guy who has a lot of skill and a lot of potential is obviously going to be a safe pick. Likewise, a guy with a lot of skill who lacks potential is still going to be a safe pick, although not as valuable, because skill without potential removes all doubt; what you see is what you get.

All of these ratings are in regards to very highly ranked prospects. None of the most prominent prospects would be risky picks in the second round. Rather, these players are classified as safe to use a top-10 pick on.

Here are five elite prospects, ranked from least safe (No. 5) to safest (No. 1).

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