Every season, the NFL draught is one of the most exciting times of the year for fans and players. Getting a top player in the draught can be just the missing piece your team needs to make the playoffs in the future. What exactly is the NFL draft, where is it held, what is the order, and more? Discover it below!
What is the NFL Draft?
The National Football League Draft is the formal process teams use to select starting players. The format and technique have changed several times during the NFL Draft’s nearly 90-year history, which is intended to make the selection process fairer for teams and more exciting for fans.
Why is the NFL holding a draught?
The NFL draught began as an effort to bring more equality to the league. The actual process allowed the worst teams from the previous season to make the best picks, which would give the team the best chance of getting top-notch talent. Often, the first overall pick of the draught can be the best player on a team’s roster, which can help them rebuild and become more successful.
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How Is the NFL Draft Order Determined?
The NFL draught order is determined by how well a team performed the previous season. For example, in the 2021 draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose the 32nd spot because they won the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars were picked first, as they only had one win and 15 losses in a 16-game season.
The Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Rams have made the most first-round picks, each with seven.Meanwhile, three teams have never been picked first overall: the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, and Baltimore Ravens.
If two teams have a similar record, several tiebreakers have been established to help determine the draught order. These tiebreakers are implemented in a specific order so that the process is consistent and fair for all teams.
Tiebreakers for preparing a draught order:
1. Strength of schedule
2. Best win-loss stats in regular games played
3. Victory power in all games
4. Highest combined total of all points scored and all points allowed
5. Most net points
6. Highest net touchdowns
7. Toss coins
The NFL will typically release the draught order ahead of time so fans can anticipate what choices their favourite team will have. The league also determines which tiebreakers apply. For example, in the 2021 draft, the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans had 4-12 records. However, the Texans were ahead of the Falcons due to schedule strength.
The NFL may also award specific picks to teams based on free agents lost during the off-season. Depending on how long those free agents have served with a group, the league may award these compensatory picks during the third round or later. While these are often late picks, teams can still find great talent later in the draft. For example, Tom Brady was picked by the New England Patriots in the sixth round using an offset pick.
How does a player enter the draft?
The National Football League stipulates that all players must be at least three years out of high school before they are eligible for the draft. A player does not have to attend college to meet that time requirement, although it is often the best way to gain weight and develop his soccer skills.
Players who do not attend college must wait four years, as NFL rules require four seasons to pass after they graduate high school. This mandate encourages many players to play college football, which is great for college football fans. College football has some of the best up-and-coming talent to play in the NFL, so it’s great for players and fans alike.
In 2021, six Alabama players advanced to the first round of the NFL Draft, tying the University of Miami (Florida) for most players from one school in one year. Five quarterbacks were also selected in the first round, the second most in NFL history. The first three overall picks were quarterbacks, including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who was first overall. Zach Wilson (selected by the New York Jets) and Trey Lance followed as the second and third picks in the draft. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was the first non-quarterback to enter the draft and was selected fourth overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
What about the NFL Combine and late picks?
Most players will show off their skills to scouts at the NFL Combine or during pro days at their school. These events take players through a series of drills so that scouts can evaluate how they might perform in a professional environment.
If a player is eligible for the draught after it has already taken place, a team can select them in the additional draught that takes place in the summer. These very late picks sometimes become key players. For example, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Hall of Fame player Cris Carter in the 1987 supplemental draft. Carter went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins later in his career.
What can teams do with their draught choices?
A team doesn’t always have to pick a player with their draught pick. Instead, they can trade picks for assets in the regular season. For example, in 2019, the Houston Texans traded two first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. That first-round pick became the third overall pick in 2021.The Dolphins then traded that pick with the San Francisco 49ers. With a larger roster, the 49ers were able to draught quarterback Trey Lance.
It’s not uncommon for teams to trade during the draught to get a promising player or quarterback. In 2021, there were more than ten trades during the first round. This number of first-round trades can make predicting the NFL draught incredibly difficult. Experts often share their predictions in several mock draughts that they publish along with draught day coverage.
When is the first round of the NFL Draft?
The entire NFL draught takes place over three days. The first round of the NFL Draft is always on a Thursday. You can usually see the draught on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network. There’s also plenty of additional coverage on NFL.com and each team’s local news network.
The first round starts at 8 p.m., while the second and third rounds are televised on Fridays at 7 p.m. The last four rounds of the draught are on the third day, Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.
During the draft, NFL teams have 10 minutes to announce their first-round draught pick. Then they have seven minutes in the second round and five minutes for each subsequent round. While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces most of the first round shots, there are usually several announcers afterward. Teams can have their general manager announce a pick or even fan favourites from the Hall of Fame.
Where will the NFL Draft be held?
Between 1965 and 2014, the NFL draught was held each year at various locations in New York City. However, starting in 2015, the design started to change so that more fans could attend. The league requires teams to submit bids for the right to host the draft, with the Chicago Bears winning the first two bids for 2015 and 2016.
The Las Vegas Raiders would host the draught in 2020. However, due to nationwide lockdowns, the event had to go virtual. Since the 2021 draught was in Cleveland, the league said the Raiders would host the 2022 event. The Kansas City Chiefs won the bid for the 2023 draft.
Conclusion on the NFL Draft
The National Football League Draft is the primary way teams acquire new talent. The draught aims to promote parity in the league by allowing the previous season’s worst team to be selected higher in the draft. Higher draught picks usually translate into better, more talented players that can seriously affect a team’s success.