The opening night of the NFL Draft is always full of surprises and 2018 should be no exception.
No mock draft is ever perfect and trying to predict what will happen is often an exercise in futility, with a surprise name always sneaking into the first round.
Here we look at five prospects from this year's class who could go earlier than expected and examine potential fits for them.
WR Dante Pettis - Washington
Potential fits: Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens
This is a class of wide receivers somewhat sparse on starting calibre players who can create separation downfield. Pettis is one such receiver who has the speed to do that but can also win with physicality at the top of his routes.
An impressive ball tracker who excels after the catch, Pettis is also a significant threat on special teams with nine punt return touchdowns at Washington. In a class full of limited receiving talents, teams looking for offensive help with their first pick may well gravitate to a player who can impact two facets of the game.
The Packers need receiver help with Jordy Nelson gone and Randall Cobb seemingly already in decline. They reportedly hosted Pettis for a pre-draft visit, though their first-round pick (14th overall) could be a little early for him. He would also be a nice complement to Julio Jones in Atlanta and could provide the spark the Baltimore passing game needs.
TE Mike Gesicki - Penn State
Potential fits: New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings
The tight end class is not as strong as that of last year, when three went in the first round.
However, every team in the NFL knows the value of a true game-changing talent at the position. You only need to watch Rob Gronkowski to see what a difference a generational one can make.
Gesicki put on a show at the Scouting Combine and his athleticism and proficiency for making difficult catches gives him an extremely high ceiling that could lead to a team deciding he should not be allowed out of the top 32.
The Saints have never replaced Jimmy Graham and could do so by picking Gesicki, who would also pair nicely with the reliable Kyle Rudolph in Minnesota.
EDGE Lorenzo Carter - Georgia
Potential fits: Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles
After Bradley Chubb and Harold Landry, there is a clear drop-off in talent among this crop of pass rushers. However, the need for players who can affect the quarterback is one that will never subside and pass rushers will likely be pushed up the board as a result.
Carter is the perfect candidate for such a rise. He recorded only 14 sacks over four seasons but is a remarkable athlete who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at 250 pounds at the Combine. That kind of burst was evident on film, as was an ability to bend around the corner, a blend of skills likely to at least tempt a team to pull the trigger on him earlier than anticipated.
Finding another pass rusher to go with the franchise-tagged Ezekiel Ansah should be a priority for Detroit, while the Titans are also in need of help off the edge to take their defense to the next level. Carter would fit the bill for both. The Eagles have been collecting pass rushers, but the draft is as much about building on strengths as it is about filling needs, and Michael Bennett and Chris Long will not be around forever.
EDGE Josh Sweat - Florida State
Potential fits: Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers
Sweat is something of a similar prospect to Carter. He is just as athletically blessed but the production (14.5 sacks in three years) does not quite reflect his capabilities.
Yet he has hugely impressive burst off the ball and excels at bending his body to turn the corner. If a team believes they can harness that on a consistent basis Sweat should be gone before the first day is out.
The Seahawks should love Sweat's athletic ability as they look to combat something of a developing talent drain up front. Bud Dupree, a first-round pick in 2015, has not had the impact the Steelers would have expected, so Sweat would also make sense for Pittsburgh.
Josh Sweat and Derwin James earned ACC Players of the Week honors! pic.twitter.com/t3bars0WyO— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) September 5, 2017
DL Rasheem Green - USC
Potential fits: New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys
Green is fortunate he is making the jump to the NFL in an era where 'position-less' players are on the rise. Despite spending much of his career at USC at defensive tackle, it is not clear whether Green's best fit is as an interior defensive lineman or as an edge rusher.
But Green is 6'4" and 275 pounds with a 4.73-second 40 time under his belt and 10 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2017. That kind of production is not taken lightly in an NFL where interior disruption is king. Look for a team to make him a day-one surprise and figure the rest out later.
Bill Belichick has long been the best in the league at figuring out how to best utilise players, and the Patriots' pass rush is crying out for a talent of Green's calibre. His versatility should also appeal to a Cowboys team that has gotten precious little out of recent picks on the defensive line save for Demarcus Lawrence.
|Warriors´ Iguodala upgraded to questionable for game four|
|Simmons, Mitchell unanimous picks for NBA All-Rookie first team|
|AC Milan referred over alleged FFP breaches|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari and Red Bull target Monaco upturn|
|Horoya 2 Mamelodi Sundowns 2: Camara header denies visitors´ comeback|
|Du Plessis rescue mission takes Super Kings to IPL final|
|Seedorf to leave relegated Deportivo|
|Wenger turned down Real Madrid ´two or three times´|
|Kane dreams of lifting World Cup trophy as England captain|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool & Roma|
|Yates stays on course for Giro title, Dennis wins time trial|
|Brighton sign Nigeria international Balogun|
|Ronaldo again pips LeBron and Messi as sport´s most famous star|
|Marcelo fears backlash if Madrid lose Champions League final|
|Messi joins Argentina´s World Cup training camp|
|FIFA finds no doping cases in Russia´s World Cup squad|
|Liverpool´s strikeforce reminds Ronaldo of Real Madrid|
|Hysaj staying at Napoli ´regardless of Sarri´s future´|
|Amir fully fit for Lord´s Test|
|A fast start to life - The Golden Knights and the expansion teams who excelled early|
|Molina gets two-year anti-doping ban for positive test after Joshua bout|
|Ramos: We´re a vintage Real Madrid team|
|Klopp key to controlling Liverpool emotions, says Alonso|
|Bjorn names Westwood, Harrington, Donald and McDowell as Europe vice-captains|
|Scarlets players left wounded by ´shocking´ Scotstoun pitch|
|Arsenal fined £20,000 for Leicester penalty protest|
|Storm offer Bellamy ´significant´ deal amid reported Broncos interest|
|Rashford writes moving tribute on anniversary of Manchester Arena attack|
|Heaton backs Kane´s captaincy credentials|
|Salah deserves Ballon d´Or if Liverpool win Champions League – Owen|
|Wasps flanker Willis out for up to a year|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Is the Champions League enough to save Zidane?|
|I was left out on reputation - Nainggolan angered by World Cup snub|
|Pellegrini targets Europe with West Ham|
|Lopetegui extends Spain contract|
|Edinburgh-bound Barclay´s Scarlets career over following Achilles surgery|
|Saints swoop for NRL star Naiqama|
|Zidane: Be careful when you criticise Ronaldo|
|It doesn´t get better - Stevens relishing best-of-three shootout for Celtics|
|Favre named new Dortmund boss|
|LeBron and Lue hail evergreen Kyle Korver|
|Kane named England captain for World Cup|
|Wright slams Arsenal over Emery: It´s like a sushi shop!|
|Pellegrini named new West Ham manager|
|Late drama and sustained Ronaldo magic - Real Madrid´s road to the Champions League final|
|Yankees´ home runs fuel win over Rangers|
|LeBron scores 44 points as Cavs level series against Celtics|
|Kaufusi re-signs with Melbourne Storm|
|LeBron James sets record for postseason field goals|
|Monchi: Alisson will only leave Roma if I come out of retirement!|
|No offers from Chelsea or Zenit, says Sarri´s agent|
|No Champions League pressure as PSG´s Tuchel calls for patience|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
|Buffon to decide future in a week amid PSG speculation|
|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|Lloris, Jedinak and Kjaer ask FIFA to allow Guerrero to play at World Cup|
|Wolfsburg preserve Bundesliga status after play-off win over Kiel|
|Zidane was my idol and always will be - Wijnaldum|
|Liverpool ready to fly out of the blocks in Kiev - Henderson|
|Montreal Impact 0 LA Galaxy 1: Ibrahimovic sent off for slapping opponent|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah, Ronaldo lead the line in combined XI|
|Bertens keeps hat-trick hopes alive in Nuremberg|
|Monfils and Mannarino fail to fly the flag in Lyon|
|Morata, Fabregas, Herrera and more in Spain´s World Cup rejects XI|
|Reina to face FIGC hearing|
|Emery set to be appointed by Arsenal - reports|
|LeBron ´appreciative´ of hometown effort to put up statue of him|