NFL DRAFT 2021
It’s time for the 2021 NFL Draft, and as always, the offseason’s most significant event will craft the short- and long-term futures of all 32 teams. Sporting News’ 2021 NFL Draft homepage serves as your hub for the latest developments in the draft process, as well as vital viewing information and pick details. Scroll down to begin.
PREVIOUS #1 DRAFT PICKS
|2017||Myles Garrett||Browns||DE||Texas A&M|
|2015||Jameis Winston||Buccaneers||QB||Florida St.|
|2014||Jadeveon Clowney||Texans||DE||South Carolina|
|2013||Eric Fisher||Chiefs||OT||Central Michigan|
|2006||Mario Williams||Texans||DE||N. Carolina State|
|2003||Carson Palmer||Bengals||QB||Southern Cal.|
|2002||David Carr||Texans||QB||Fresno State|
|2001||Michael Vick||Falcons||QB||Virginia Tech|
|2000||Courtney Brown||Browns||DE||Penn State|
DRAFTS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
WHEN IS THE NFL DRAFT 2021?
The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 29 with the first of seven rounds. The draft continues Friday, April 30 with the second and third rounds, and it concludes Saturday, May 1 with the last four rounds.
Over the span of three days, a total of 259 NFL Draft picks will be made by 32 teams.
What time does the NFL Draft start?
The NFL Draft start time varies throughout the three-day event, with Round 1 on Thursday beginning at 8 p.m. ET, Rounds 2-3 on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. ET and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday beginning at noon ET.
|1||Thursday||April 29||8 p.m. ET|
|2-3||Friday||April 30||7 p.m. ET|
|4-7||Saturday||May 1||Noon ET|
How long is the NFL Draft?
The NFL Draft spans three days — Thursday, April 29; Friday April 30; Saturday, May 1 — and seven rounds.
In the first round, each team gets 10 minutes to make its pick. In the second round, each team gets seven minutes to make its pick. In Rounds 3-6, each team gets five minutes to make its pick. In the seventh and final round, each team gets four minutes to make its pick.
HOW TO WATCH THE NFL DRAFT LIVE
In 2021, watching the NFL Draft live is easier than ever given an abundance of viewing options. Three different TV networks will broadcast this year’s draft. In addition, multiple live streaming services will make available a live broadcast of the draft.
What channel is the NFL Draft on?
The entirety of the 2021 NFL Draft will broadcast live on three different TV networks simultaneously — ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. That doesn’t include ESPN Deportes, which will present a Spanish edition of ESPN’s broadcast.
Anybody with access to broadcast TV (even without cable) can watch the NFL Draft on ABC. All the major cable networks carry both ESPN (Xfinity channel 49) and NFL Network (Xfinity channel 265). The specific ESPN and NFL Network channels for Spectrum, Cox and Optimum cable customers vary based on viewing area.
For viewers in Canada, TSN3, along with TSN4 on Thursday and TSN5 on Friday, provides draft coverage.
NFL Draft TV Schedule
|Round||Day||Date||Start Time||TV Channels|
|1||Thursday||April 29||8 p.m. ET||ABC, ESPN, NFL Network|
|2-3||Friday||April 30||7 p.m. ET||ABC, ESPN, NFL Network|
|4-7||Saturday||May 1||Noon ET||ABC, ESPN, NFL Network|
How to stream the NFL Draft
NFL Draft live streams can be found on multiple platforms and can be viewed on multiple devices. As for live TV streaming services, fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV and AT&T TV Now all carry at least one of the channels broadcasting the 2021 NFL Draft.
For those with connected TV devices (Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PS4 and Roku), the NFL Draft can be streamed live with the NFL App, the ABC App or the ESPN App by authentication with participating TV providers.
Similar options are available for those who wish to live stream the NFL Draft via mobile devices and tablets — the NFL App, the NFL Network App, the ABC App and the ESPN App. On computers and laptops, a live stream of the NFL Draft will be available by authentication with participating TV providers at NFL.com/Watch, ESPN.com/Watch and ABC.go.com.
In Canada, the NFL Draft can be streamed on DAZN , which includes NFL Network coverage and offers a free trial period for new subscribers.
Can I listen to the NFL Draft on the radio?
Yes. A live stream of the NFL Draft can be heard via the following radio providers: SiriusXM NFL Radio, ESPN Radio and NFL on Tunein Radio.
NFL Draft 2021 location
The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland after the event went fully virtual a year ago due to COVID-19 concerns. Teams will once again make their picks in person with select players in attendance to walk across a stage, with vaccinated fans allowed to attend.
The main NFL Draft stage is set up outdoors in front of Lake Erie with other events spread across downtown Cleveland locations, including FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.
NFL Draft tickets
A limited number of tickets were sold for fans to watch the 2021 NFL Draft on location. NFL teams also designated some fans as “draft ambassadors” — fans who get front-row seats to the stage. All fans in attendance must be vaccinated and wear masks.
HOW DOES THE NFL DRAFT WORK
The rules of the NFL Draft are simple. Each of the 32 teams gets one pick in each of the seven rounds, though trades impact the draft order throughout the selection process. In addition, 36 compensatory picks were added in Rounds 3-7 for a total of 259 selections.
The selection order is determined by the reverse order of finish in the previous season’s standings. The idea of the draft is to increase competitive parity among all 32 teams in the NFL.
To be eligible for the draft, players must be out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season. Underclassmen and players who have graduated before using all their college eligibility are able to request approval to enter the draft early.
How many rounds are there in the NFL Draft?
The NFL Draft consists of seven rounds, a considerable reduction for a process that once featured 30 rounds. In the first round, teams are given 10 minutes to make each pick. In the second round, teams get just seven minutes to make each pick. In Rounds 3-6, they get five minutes, and in Round 7, they get only four.
How many picks are in the NFL Draft
The 2021 NFL Draft will feature 259 total selections. The Patriots forfeited their third-round pick as part of their punishment for filming the Bengals’ sideline in 2019, and the Vikings forfeited their seventh-round pick due to a 2019 salary-cap violation.
There are 32 picks in the first round, 32 picks in the second round, 41 picks in the third round, 39 picks in the fourth round, 39 picks in the fifth round, 43 picks in the sixth round and 33 picks in the seventh round.
How is the NFL Draft order determined
The order of NFL Draft picks is determined by the previous season's final standings; the worst team gets the first pick in each round, and the Super Bowl winner gets the last pick in each round. For teams that finished the previous season with the same records, the tiebreaker is strength of schedule (win percentage of opponents). If that percentage is the same, the next tiebreakers are division and conference records. And if they're still tied after that, the following is the tiebreaking method:
- Head-to-head (if applicable)
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games (minimum of four)
- Strength of victory in all games
- Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games
- Best net points in all games
- Best net touchdowns in all games
- Coin toss
NFL Draft 2021 pick order
Who has the first pick in the NFL Draft 2021
With a 1-15 record, the Jaguars finished last season as the worst team in the NFL. That means Jacksonville has the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Most believe the Jaguars will select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top overall pick.
The Jets (2-14) will pick second overall followed by the 49ers, who traded up to No. 3 overall from the No. 12 pick. The Falcons (4-12) and Bengals (4-11-1) round out this year’s top five.
The Eagles, who pick sixth, have the most draft selections of any team with 11 total.
Full 2021 NFL Draft Order
The NFL determined the complete order for the 2021 NFL Draft as soon as it awarded 36 compensatory picks to 17 different teams in mid-March.Here is the full order for all 259 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2021 NFL Draft prospects
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is considered the consensus best player in the 2021 NFL Draft and is expected to be picked No. 1 overall.
According to SN NFL writer Vinnie Iyer, here are the top 10 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
- Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
- DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
- Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
- Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
- Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
- Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
For a complete ranking of the top 100 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, check out SN’s big board.
What is the NFL supplemental Draft
The NFL supplemental draft, which takes place each July for players whose eligibility has changed since the NFL Draft, works in a way that's quite simple, yet players are rarely selected in the process. The reason: The format is such that a team forfeits a pick in the following year's draft if it chooses to select a player in the supplemental draft.
Teams don’t have to participate in the supplemental draft. If a team chooses to do so, it can bid for a player by telling the NFL the round in which it wants to pick him. If no other team bids on that player, the team is awarded the player and loses a pick in the following year’s draft that corresponds with the supplemental draft round in which the player was selected.
If multiple teams submit bids for a player, the highest bidder is awarded the player. In the event two teams bid the same pick on a player, the NFL turns to a predetermined draft order to decide who gets the player.
What happens if you don’t get Drafted in NFL?
Once the draft reaches the late stages of the final round, for some prospects, it’s better not to be selected at all. Because once a player in the draft goes undrafted, he becomes an unrestricted free agent who’s able to sign with any team.
Kurt Warner and John Randle, both Pro Football Hall of Famers, are among the notable legendary players who went undrafted.