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Top 2021 NFL draft prospects get the Marvel Comics cover treatment

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How Black Panther inspired Kwity Paye's sack celebration (1:20)

NFL draft prospect Kwity Paye speaks of his fondness for Black Panther and is pleased to see his comic book cover inspired by the character. (1:20)

Who wouldn't want to be part of the Marvel Universe?

The epic comic books and films have drawn in millions of fans to follow the latest adventures of an array of Super Heroes -- literally something for everyone.

In much the same way, millions of pro football fans are eagerly awaiting new arrivals -- via the 2021 NFL draft. Hope springs eternal, and even the worst of teams can begin to turn around its fortunes with a well-chosen rookie class.

ESPN and Marvel Entertainment have teamed up again for this year's NFL draft, designing custom comic book covers depicting seven draft prospects. Each features a Marvel theme that pays homage to original Marvel Comics covers, You can view last year's here.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Lawrence's cover will be revealed live on College GameDay (5 p.m. ET) during draft coverage on Thursday, April 29.


Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Wilson 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: JL Giles (artist), Ian Herring (colorist)

Based on: Captain America: Living Legend #1, by Adi Granov


DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Smith, from the University of 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)

Based on: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1, by Brian Stelfreeze


Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Owusu-Koramoah 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 for the University of Notre Dame... 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)

Based on: The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1, by Dale Keown


Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

Paye 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 the University of Michigan stand out.

Credit: Sean Chen (artist), Lee Duhig (colorist)

Based on: Black Panther #1 variant cover, by InHyuk Lee


Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Harris, an elite running back from the University of Alabama 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)

Based on: Strange Tales: Blade #3, after Bart Sears


Azeez Ojulari, DE, 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 life 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 superhuman 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)

Based on: Wolverine #305, by Jason Keith & Jim Cheung

Creative lead and graphic design for all covers by Darren Sanchez