A year ago at this time it may have been imaginable that Cam Newton would gain more than 700 yards on the ground and even set the single-season rushing touchdowns record by a quarterback at 14. Much less supported would have been the prediction that Newton would also establish a new standard for rookie passing yards, shattering Peyton Manning's 1998 mark, with 4,051 in total.
Likewise, back in 1983 there may have been defensible expectations that Southern Methodist University phenom Eric Dickerson would set rookie rushing records in attempts, yardage and touchdowns that all still stand today.
However, how about the NFL career exploits of the man that went five picks after Dickerson, QB Todd Blackledge, seventh overall out of Penn State University? Through parts of seven seasons, he played in just 46 games, going 15-14 as a starter, retiring with fewer than 1,000 pass attempts (881), completing under 50 percent of his passes (48.1) with 29 touchdown throws to 38 interceptions and a 60.2 passer rating. The stark unpredictability of these results is put into further context when noted that he was drafted that same year ahead of Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien and Dan Marino.
It is with these chaotic outcomes in mind, and they are present in the first round of every NFL draft, that I take a fun attempt at predicting the career statistics for the top 32 picks I presently have mocked to go on the evening of April 26. While these slideshows are intended to state a predictive opinion, and healthy feedback is expected and encouraged, do keep in mind the highly arbitrary nature of an exercise like this.
Because this is not a mock draft, and the players cannot yet be tied with a particular team with any degree of confidence with regard to projecting their production, the slides will be in alphabetical order.