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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Safe plays: Quarterbacks have few sure things

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Posted March 31, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

The draft is now 25 days away, and over the next four weeks in this space, we'll be looking at a lot of draft-related aspects. One of these will be what I like to call the "safe plays" -- the surest things at each position. Some positions have more sure things than others, as you'll see.

In taking a pulse of the league, it's not a great year for quarterbacks, either in terms of sure bets or depth. Matthew Stafford could be the top pick overall and has star qualities, and Josh Freeman is a fast-rising prospect with intriguing measurables and upside.

But to me, the most sure, safe QB prospect appears to be USC's Mark Sanchez -- and that's saying something. After all, we're talking about a player who has very little starting experience and has yet to show he can stay healthy for a long stretch.

But Sanchez represents a fairly solid option for a team that has a nice supporting cast (like he had at USC with NFL-grade talent at nearly every position), a good quarterback coach and a starter who can handle the reins for the time being. It's unlikely that Sanchez ever will be considered one of the best five QBs in the pros at any point in his career, but he could be a solid, unspectacular performer in a rhythm passing game that highlights his accuracy, decision-making and movement skills.

Next most "safe" bet: Alabama's John Parker Wilson, who might never be a great starter, but he has good moxie, game-manager skills and the work ethic to improve his mechanics. There's not a on of bust potential with him, but there also isn't a whole lot of upside either. Teams know what he is.

Up next this week: Running backs. 

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