Five bold predictions for the first round of tomorrow's NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

We've finally made it. The wait for the NFL Draft is just about over. Tomorrow at 8:00 PM ET, the NFL Draft will officially be open and the Carolina Panthers will be on the clock. There will be 31 selections and we are still uncertain of most of them. Here are five bold predictions that I think we may see tomorrow evening as Roger Goodell takes the stage.

1. There will only be two quarterbacks selected in the top five

Bryce Young
NFL Combine / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The only draft pick in the first round in which there is a clear consensus on is the number one overall selection, which the Carolina Panthers traded for last month

Bryce Young is going to be the selection for Carolina, which is a pretty easy one. However, there is much speculation surrounding what the Houston Texans could do with the second overall pick. They reportedly don't love quarterback CJ Stroud and could possibly go defense. Would it be Will Anderson, Tyree Wilson or Jalen Carter? Or could the Texans trade back?

One thing is for sure. Someone, between 2 and 5 will take a quarterback. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis are all expected to come off the board at some point in the first round, but I think only one of those three go in the top five. I think the Colts are most likely to take a quarterback, but Houston, Arizona and Seattle will all go defense. It's a stark contrast to the way we viewed the draft just a month ago, when we thought four quarterbacks would surely go in the top five.

2. Hendon Hooker will be selected before Will Levis

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

There is a lot of hype in the media surrounding Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. He has the second best odds of being the first overall pick -- but why?

Levis is a decent quarterback, but nothing stands out about him. He's good, has a strong arm and didn't make a ton of mistakes. But teams don't draft a quarterback high based on being a decent college quarterback. I believe the media is so excited about Levis because he's a quirky guy. He's jacked, he can throw a football far, he puts mayonnaise in his coffee, and he's a cocky, outspoken quarterback. He's fun to cover in the media, but he's not a fantastic quarterback.

Hendon Hooker out of Tennessee is essentially the polar opposite of Levis. He's a thinner build, drinks coffee like a normal person, and stays quiet. There aren't many reasons to write about Hooker, so he doesn't get as much hype. Hendon Hooker lets his play do the talk. He was stellar in 2022 for the Volunteers and checks off every box you want in an NFL quarterback. I truly think Hendon Hooker is selected in the middle of the first round, ahead of Will Levis tomorrow night.

3. The Texans will trade twice in the first ten picks

DeMeco Ryans
NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The Houston Texans own the second and twelfth picks in the first round of the draft -- but I don't see them picking at either of those selections.

With the second overall pick, I can see Houston trading back to the Colts' fourth pick, allowing Indianapolis to take a quarterback at the second selection. Houston will pick a defensive player at four, but they won't be done there. I believe the Texans want their franchise quarterback in the first round, but don't like anyone, outside of Bryce Young, enough to take one with the second pick.

That is why I see them trading up from their twelfth pick up to ten, via the Philadelphia Eagles, and selecting the best available quarterback on their board. It makes sense, seeing as the Texans would get a blue-chip defensive player at the fourth pick while still drafting their franchise quarterback of the future with the tenth pick. It could be quite the haul for Houston.

4. The Miami Dolphins trade into the first round

Mike McDaniel
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round selection by tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton a year ago. Their first selection isn't until the second round, but the Dolphins have a huge hole in their roster that can be patched if a specific position group starts to slide in the first round.

The Dolphins really don't have any tight ends on the roster. Technically they do -- two of them -- but they are practice squad-level players. If the top tight ends, like Dalton Kincaid, Michael Mayer or Darnell Washington, start to fall into the twenties in the first round, I could see the Dolphins pick up the phone and try to finesse their way into the first round.

This Dolphins team is a squad that's all-in for 2023 and trading future assets to draft great players now probably would not bother them. Plugging the one glaring hole on their roster could be enticing enough for Miami to look into trading for one of the sliding tight ends -- which I believe will happen.

5. Trey Lance is traded on draft night

Trey Lance
Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Much like the Dolphins, the San Francisco 49ers are all-in on building a Super Bowl team in 2023 and they may give up some assets to get there, including quarterback Trey Lance.

Lance, the 22-year-old third overall selection in the 2021 draft, has not really had a fair shake in San Francisco. After sitting behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a year, Lance had the opportunity to start for the Niners in 2022, before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the second game. Unfortunately for Lance, seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy shined in his absence and projects to be the Niners' quarterback of the future.

Now, the 49ers have a young quarterback, drafted number three overall just two years ago, who likely just doesn't fit on the team anymore. They could look to offload Lance tomorrow night in exchange for a first-round pick in 2023's NFL Draft, where they could make a selection that benefits the team more than Trey Lance currently does. I could see a team like the Buccaneers, Ravens or the Cowboys -- all teams who pick in the twenties -- trade for Lance and give up their pick to San Francisco.