The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft produced plenty of surprises, including eight of the first 12 picks being spent on skill-position players -- more than in any year since the turn of the century.
Predicting that would occur entering the first round would have been bold, indeed, given that the class of 2017 has been universally lauded as loaded with top prospects on defense, not offense.
What big storylines should you anticipate on Friday? Here are five bold predictions:
5. Buckeyes' Curtis Samuel next receiver off the board
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the first day was the fact that three receivers -- each coming off significant injuries -- were among the first nine players drafted. The Buckeyes' 5-foot-11, 196-pound Samuel is as dynamic an athlete as any of them and is not likely to be unclaimed for long. The knock on Samuel -- much like arch-nemesis Jabrill Peppers from Michigan (and now a member of the Cleveland Browns) -- was that he might be a player without a true position in the NFL, as he bounced back and forth between wide receiver and running back with the Buckeyes. While not as polished as East Carolina's Zay Jones, as big as Southern California's JuJu Smith-Schuster or as polished as Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp, Samuel possesses agility and mercurial speed (4.31 at the Indianapolis Combine) that make him a mismatch nightmare.
4. First-round talents left on the board won't last long
Off-field or medical questions pushed running backs Dalvin Cook (Florida State) and Joe Mixon (Oklahoma), defensive tackle Malik McDowell (Michigan State), offensive tackle Cam Robinson (Alabama) and quarterback DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame) down the board, but each is among the prospects still available who clearly have first-round talent. Do not expect these players to last long on Friday. Either back would appear to be an intriguing fit in Green Bay's green and gold, especially given that the Packers allowed former second-round runner Eddie Lacy to leave in free agency. The Packers currently have the rights to the first pick, 33rd overall, on Friday.
3. Seahawks will be busy
Seattle entered the draft with four Day 2 picks, and they acquired two more Thursday after a pair of trade-downs took them out of the first round. Their six selections are double that of any other team, providing general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll an awful lot of flexibility to address a notoriously problematic offensive line and aging secondary while also having the luxury of gambling on potential difference-makers at other positions, should they choose to do so. Seattle's first pick is currently second overall on Friday, and they have their original second-round selection, No. 58 overall. The Seahawks have four picks in the third round (Nos. 90, 95, 102 and 106).
2. Kizer to the Cardinals?
Both Arizona general manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians spoke during the offseason about their interest in adding a young quarterback to groom behind veteran Carson Palmer. The strong-armed Kizer would seem like the perfect protege. With an immediate impact defender in former Temple star Haason Reddick already in fold after the first round, the Cardinals may feel that they can afford to gamble on a "luxury" pick at No. 45 overall.
1. PSA: A run on defensive backs is in the forecast
With all due respect to edge rushers and tight ends, many believe the most talented position in the 2017 draft is defensive back. That certainly is reflected on NFLDraftScout.com's best available, which currently lists six defensive backs among the 15 best available prospects, leading off with Washington's duo of cornerback Kevin King and safety Budda Baker (with injured Huskies cornerback Sidney Jones not far behind). Florida's talented trio -- Quincy Wilson, Marcus Maye and Teez Tabor -- also is expected to come off the board in Rounds 2 and 3.
--Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed in partnership with The Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com.