There are times in the NFL draft when teams pick for a star, when teams pick for a sleeper, and when teams pick for potential.
According to one NFL.com draft analyst, there’s another category to this list: safe picks — players with both a high ceiling and a high floor. As in teams know exactly what they’re going to get when they pick a certain guy.
NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter released his list of the top-10 prospects that fit this “safe” category for the 2018 draft, and two of the players are prominent former SEC offensive linemen.
No. 10: Martinas Rankin, tackle, Mississippi State
Martinas Rankin, at 6 feet 5 inches and 302 pounds, played for the Bulldogs for two seasons after spending time at a junior college, and he was a valuable part of the offensive line in the scheme for former Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. He played in every game as a junior and started nine games as a senior, missing others due to an ankle injury. Still, he earned All-SEC first team honors from the conference’s coach, second team from the AP, and All-America honorable mention from SB Nation, in addition to winning the Kent Hull Award for the team’s most outstanding lineman.
Reuter’s analysis: “I don’t know when Rankin will be drafted, but he probably won’t go as high as he should. He’s not flashy. However, if a team is looking for a solid, strong tackle who is difficult to beat, this guy is it. Rankin is quick enough to cut off rushers outside and adjust to inside moves. He also is willing to participate in the run game, often hitting two defenders on the way to clearing lanes.” Best fits: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles
No. 7: Isaiah Wynn, tackle/guard, Georgia
Isaiah Wynn can and did play all along the offensive line during his time at Georgia. During his senior season in 2017, the 6-foot-2, 302-pound Wynn played exclusively left tackle, but at the recently completed Senior Bowl spent most of his time working and dominating at guard. Wynn made several All-America teams after his final year in Athens as well as both All-SEC first teams from the SEC coaches and AP.
Reuter’s analysis: Wynn was one of the best lineman in the country in 2017, playing an effective left tackle despite measuring under 6-foot-3. He possesses the wingspan of a taller player, however, and has the foot quickness and strength to hold up well outside. His NFL position is more likely to be left guard, but I think most teams would love to have an insurance policy like Wynn on their roster in case their blind-side protector goes down to injury…He’ll be a longtime starter with valued versatility.” Best fits: Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans
The post NFL.com lists two SEC standouts as ‘safest picks’ for 2018 NFL Draft appeared first on SEC Country.