ESPN and Marvel Entertainment have teamed up again for this year’s NFL Draft, designing custom comic book covers depicting seven Draft prospects – Najee Harris, Trevor Lawrence, Azeez Ojulari, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kwity Paye, DeVonta Smith and Zach Wilson, featuring Marvel themes that pay homage to original Marvel Comics covers while promoting the upcoming NFL Draft. Covers have been unveiled in the days leading up to the Draft, with Trevor Lawrence’s cover being revealed live on College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (5 p.m. ET, ESPN) during Draft coverage on Thursday, April 29.
- Najee Harris (Alabama), an elite running back with a rare combination of power, quickness and speed, is ruthlessly efficient on the football field. Whether he is running over defenders, zooming past them or cutting his way through NFL defenses, he is a force to be reckoned with… much like the Marvel’s “Day Walker,” BLADE, who uses his own brand of power, speed and super human abilities to battle the evil forces of the night. Credit: Ray Anthony Height (artist), Wil Quintana (colorist); Strange Tales: Blade #3, after Bart Sears
- Azeez Ojulari (Georgia) is a dominant edge rusher from the University of Georgia. Known for his explosiveness and effective use of his hands, Ojulari is agile and quick in pursuit but also has great balance and can be difficult to move. An all-around weapon for the defense, he excels at making like difficult for the opposing quarterback. Marvel’s own “weapon” is also familiar with work off the edge. Wolverine shares many traits with Ojulari… tenacity, effective use of his hands and super human toughness as he fights alongside his fellow X-Men. This cover homage to Wolverine #305 was a great fit for the Georgia Bulldogs star as he waits to see where he will begin his NFL career. Credit: Sean Chen (artist), Darren Sanchez (colorist); Wolverine #305, after Jason Keith & Jim Cheung
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame) is a versatile linebacker with a rare mix of athleticism, explosiveness, speed and agility making him a force on the football field and a relentless defender and pass rusher… also making him a good match for Marvel’s own relentless force, the Incredible Hulk. The cover to The Incredible Hulk #1, “Last Call” shows the superhuman strength and tenacity of this powerful Avenger, and our cover homage showcases Owusu-Koramoah as he looks to begin his career wreaking havoc on NFL offenses. Credit: Ron Lim (penciler), Roberto Poggi (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist); The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1, after Dale Keown
- Kwity Paye (Michigan) showcases outstanding speed and strength using excellent balance and closing speed as he fluidly twists and battles to rush the passer on the football field. With roots outside the U.S., Paye has made his mark as an elite pass rusher who is on his way into the NFL. Black Panther is a regal presence on the Avengers roster with similar quickness and tenacity. The cover to Black Panther #1 portrays the confidence and rare skills that he shares with Paye. Credit: Sean Chen (artist), Lee Duhig (colorist) Black Panther #1 variant cover, after InHyuk Lee
- DeVonta Smith (Alabama) is a “deadly” force to opposing defenses. Also known as “The Slim Reaper” by his teammates, he is an acrobatic, explosively quick phenom on the football field, overcoming much larger opponents with ease… like a certain Marvel fan-favorite. We chose this #1 issue cover homage to showcase DeVonta as he prepares to enter into the NFL. Credit: Francesco Manna (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist); Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1, after Brian Stelfreeze
- Zach Wilson (BYU) is known for being a smart quarterback who does a tremendous job as the commander of the offense. But focus too much on his football instincts and intellect at your own peril. While at BYU, Wilson also displayed incredible timing, calm under pressure, toughness and an elite arm-strength that left many opponents utterly defeated. Marvel has their own “commander” in the leader of the Avengers, Captain America. Wilson’s similarities to this iconic Super Hero made this cover homage to Captain America, Living Legend #1 a perfect fit as Zach sits poised to build his own “legend” in the NFL. Credit: L Giles (artist), Ian Herring (colorist); Captain America: Living Legend #1, after Adi Granov
This year’s covers include both static and motion covers, and are available to view and download here.