There are several prospects hoping to hear their names called during the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. While some of the talents who will eventually go on to earn the distinction of being a Day 1 pick undoubtedly deserve that status, there are plenty of players on the fringes who could end up being a regrettable selection.
Whether they failed to regularly produce in college, are undersized for their respective position or have some other concerning trait, these prospects are already sending out warning signs that they just might not pan out in the pros.
These red flags won't stop clubs from expending a coveted first-round pick on some of the more tantalizing athletes in the class.
With that in mind, here are five players found in the first-round of multiple mock drafts on NFLMockDraftDatabase.com who could be remembered as massive Round 1 mistakes:
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
There may have been no prospect more impressive at the combine than Adetomiwa Adebawore. The Northwestern defensive lineman was a force at the event, posting incredible metrics in every drill he took part in.
The 22-year-old blitzed through the 40-yard dash in just 4.49 seconds—a remarkable showing for someone who stands 6'2", 282 pounds—and showcased great leaping ability by posting a 37.5-inch vertical and a 10'5" broad jump. Strength isn't a concern here either after he tossed up 27 reps on the bench.
While Adebawore showed he's a superstar in the gym, it'll be much tougher for him to become a Pro Bowl-caliber talent in the NFL.
There's been a concerning lack of on-field production from the Wildcats product for someone with his unteachable athleticism. Adebawore tallied a pedestrian 11.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss in the 33 games he participated in since the start of 2020.
He's a bit of a positional tweener as well. Adebawore spent most of his time as a defensive end at Northwestern, but he could be used inside at the next level. He relied on power for much of his production in college, but that won't be as effective against the myriad of hulking offensive linemen he'll have to battle in the pros.
Factor in his subpar awareness, pursuit and tackling abilities and it's tough to see Adebawore making a successful transition to the NFL quickly. He'll be decent against the run early, but he's a developmental pass-rushing prospect who may need a few years to reach his potential in that area, which is one of the reasons the B/R Scouting Department has him ranked No. 72 overall.
Despite this ranking, ProFootballNetwork's James Fragoza has Adebawore being selected all the way up at No. 23 overall in a recent mock draft.
Toward the middle or late on Day 2, Adebawore would be a nice pickup for many teams. Passing over a more guaranteed prospect for him in the first round would be a mistake, though.