Football Draft Day
Football Draft day is one of the most anticipated and exciting days on the NFL calendar. After months of preparation and build-up, anxious players, teams, and fans are finally able to see the selection process play out before them in primetime. The NFL Draft places high drama at the end of April, halfway between the end of the previous season and the start of the next. With the fate of players and teams unfolding, draft day has become a spectacle for college and pro fans alike.
NFL Draft Order and Rounds
The NFL Draft has transformed from a list of player names on a chalkboard to a three day event broadcast on multiple television networks. The NFL draft is a seven round process, in which NFL teams are granted selections in inverse order of the past season’s standings. The system of granting high picks to poor teams is used to create parity in the league and allow the balance of power to swing back and forth between the struggling and the thriving. Many teams have finished seasons as the worst in the league before the top pick in the draft was able to shift the franchise’s fortunes into an eventual Super Bowl victory. If there is a tie in record between two or more teams, the NFL uses tiebreakers of strength of schedule, divisional and conference records, and, if it comes down to it, a coin flip.
NFL Draft Timing
The draft begins on Thursday evening with the first round. Rounds two and three of the draft occur the following Friday evening, and rounds four through seven begin on Saturday morning and run well into the afternoon. Teams are afforded ten minutes each to make their first round selections, seven minutes for their second round selection, and five minutes in each subsequent round.
NFL Draft Teams
Each team spends thousands of man hours over the course of the year preparing for the NFL Draft. The organization of most front offices has a General Manager in charge of making the final decision, as well as several consultants and a full scouting department. Most NFL teams also have their coaching staff work closely with the personnel department to ensure that the coaches are on board with any decision. Each team sends representatives to Radio City Music Hall, and the thirty-two scouting departments typically phone in their picks from the team headquarters. Certain NFL teams are known for emphasizing different player traits on draft day. For example, the Oakland Raiders placed a major emphasis on speed under Al Davis, Bill Belichick’s Patriots usually look for versatility, and the Green Bay Packers typically emphasize character. Over the course of the three days their decisions will shape the outcome of the franchises successes or failures.
NFL Draft Trading
The NFL Draft order is set well in advance of the draft, but this preliminary order is far from what the draft ends up looking like. Teams can wheel and deal their draft picks prior to the draft or as late as when their team is on the clock. NFL teams can trade players, current draft picks, future draft picks, or conditional draft picks. The exception is compensatory draft picks (awarded for free agent losses), which cannot be traded. Draft day trades offer greater drama to draft day, as teams can jump over other teams to ensure they get the players they want. With the addition of the new rookie wage scale, the 2012 draft saw a record number of trades at the top of the first round.
NFL Draft Players
For players waiting to learn where, or whether, they’ll be given a chance to play, NFL Draft day is an exciting, emotional, and often agonizing time for the draft prospects involved. Roughly 250 players are selected every year, and hundreds of other hopefuls go undrafted over the three days. Most players watch from home with friends or family, often hosting parties in what they hope will be a celebratory time. Many of the top draft picks are invited to New York City to attend the draft in person. The NFL has recently expanded its list of invites to over twenty players, meaning a large number of players are able to experience accepting their teams jersey on the stage in Radio City Music Hall.
NFL Draft Day Betting
Draft day can be one of the most exciting and fun ways to bet on the NFL. Many draft prop bets are available and bettors can make wagers on what teams draft what players and how high certain prospects are selected. The thrill and chaos of draft day lends itself perfectly to betting, and those who have followed the draft over the months often make huge profits on draft day.
Read our betting daily tips on the NFL.