NFL draft

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The NFL Draft is a National Football League event where the league's teams acquire rights to available amateur and youth players who have previously played on college and university teams. It usually takes place in April and, along with the free agency and trades with other teams, is the only way to put a team together in the NFL. The draft serves to create a balance of strengths and opportunities between the franchises , since the worst team of the past season is allowed to select the first player - and usually also the best player - of the draft year.


The first draft took place on February 8, 1936 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia . This came from Bert Bell , who saw the survival of the league in jeopardy, since the Bears , the Packers , the Giants and the Redskins had a dominant supremacy at the time and weaker teams had no chance of signing great college talent there they were more interested in successful teams. As the very first player Jay Berwanger was selected, but he decided against a career in sports and was therefore never active in the NFL. The event took place in New York for the first time in 1965 and enjoyed great popularity early on. After the NFL agreed on a merger with the AFL for 1970 in 1966 , joint drafts took place between 1967 and 1969, which are referred to as Common Drafts .

The draft took place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first 52 years before moving to Sunday and Monday in 1988 . After the 1995 Draft was held at Madison Square Garden , it was rescheduled to Saturday and Sunday. From 2006 to 2014 the venue is the Radio City Music Hall in New York City . In 2010 it was moved from Thursday to Saturday. Admission is free, which is why long queues often form at the entrance on the day of the draft. The draft has also been broadcast on ESPN since 1980 and is followed by over 45 million viewers annually. After the draft took place in different locations in New York City since 1965, the draft took place in 2015 and 2016 in the Auditorium Theater in Chicago , and the locations have been changing since then. During the multi-day event, more than 200,000 fans came to town to witness the draft live.


In order to ensure a certain balance between the individual teams, the teams that performed worst in the previous season may vote first. To determine the order in which the teams can select players, the results of the teams (win-loss ratio, so-called record ) in the previous season are used. The following rules also apply:

  • Teams new to the NFL get to vote first.
  • The winning team of the Super Bowl is ranked last, the loser of the Super Bowl next to last.
  • Teams that have reached the play-offs are lined up in the order of their elimination.
  • The rest of the teams are based on the relationship between wins and losses.
  • For teams with the same season result, the so-called Strength Of Schedule is used, i.e. the strength of the opponents in the regular season is compared.

This results in the following order in the draft:

status Draft places
Non-playoff teams 1-20
Eliminated in the wildcard round 21-24
Eliminated in divisional round 25-28
In Conference excreted -Championship 29-30
Super Bowl loser 31
Super Bowl winner 32

These rules have been in place since the 2010 NFL Draft . Previously, all teams, except for the Super Bowl participants, were ranked according to their game balance and play-off participations were only used in the event of a tie. The final order may vary as the teams can also swap or trade their draft seats. Thus, the exchange Tennessee Titans in the Draft of the season in 2016 their draft law for the first player in the draft with the Los Angeles Rams and for various first, second and third round picks. The fact that the rights are swapped for the first player only happened five times in the history of the draft up to 2016. Usually, later draft picks are traded for swaps between the teams.


Once the order has been determined, the first draft round begins. In the following rounds teams with the same record change the order.

The NFL reduced the number of rounds in the draft over the years. In the beginning there were up to 30 laps, but in 1967 these were reduced to 17 and in 1975 to twelve. Since 1994 the draft has consisted of seven rounds.

By 2010, the draft lasted two days, with the first two rounds taking place on the first day and the remaining rounds on the second day. Since 2010, the draft has lasted three days. It starts with the first round on Thursdays in prime time at 8 p.m. ( Eastern Standard Time ). On Fridays the draft continues with rounds two and three. The remaining rounds four to seven will take place on Saturday. While the representatives of the respective teams have ten minutes to make their choice in the first round, there are seven minutes in the second round and only five in all subsequent rounds. If the teams need longer than the allowed time, their exclusive time window expires and the following team can secure the desired player themselves.

The final player selected in the NFL Draft is named Mr. Irrelevant .

Compensatory picks

In 2016, the draft had a total of 253 picks, 224 of which were determined by the record of the previous season. The remaining 29 picks are known as compensatory picks and are intended to provide further balance in the NFL. These picks are used to compensate the teams that lost more or better players in the Free Agency in the previous year than they got. The exact formula by which the number and position of compensatory picks are calculated is kept secret by the NFL. It is based on the players' salaries, playing times and honors for their achievements. The compensatory picks extend from the end of the third round to the end of the seventh round, with number 33 (with 32 regular picks) being the highest possible compensatory pick in the third round. A maximum of as many picks are awarded per year as there are teams in the league. Since the 2017 season , the teams can also swap the compensatory picks.

Supplemental Draft

The Supplemental Draft takes place annually after the NFL Draft. In it, players are selected who were not eligible to participate in the NFL Draft. The draft consists of seven rounds with 32 picks each. A selection can take place, but does not have to be. A selection leads to the abandonment of the draft right in the corresponding round of the following draft. In contrast to the regular draft, there is also a draft lottery, which determines the order of the drafts. There are three groups: teams with fewer than six wins in the previous season, teams with more than six wins but no play-off participation, and teams with play-off participation. The teams have as many tickets as the reverse place in the order of the regular draft; the team in first place has 32 lots, the second placed 31 etc. The order is limited by the grouping, so that the twelve play-off teams also have the last twelve picks. Since participants in the Supplemental Draft are usually excluded from the regular draft because of misconduct in college and are accordingly classified as a risk, players are rarely selected. Another difference is that it is not broadcast publicly and on television, but rather via email.

The Supplemental Draft was introduced in 1977. As the first player, running back Al Hunter was selected in the fourth round by the Seattle Seahawks . A special Supplemental Draft took place in 1984, when players were drafted who were under contract with teams from the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the United States Football League (USFL).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c d e Adrian Franke: The NFL Draft explains: Equal right to drama . April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  2. a b Mind-blowing historical stats for the NFL draft. In: April 19, 2013, accessed March 17, 2016 .
  3. Jump up ↑ Duane Cross: The AFL: A Football Legacy. January 22, 2001, accessed March 17, 2016 .
  4. 2014 NFL Draft watched by a record 45.7 million viewers. In: May 12, 2014, accessed September 26, 2015 .
  5. The Draft from to Z: Debacles, Riots - and John Wayne! (Letter N) . Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  6. NFL Draft: League boss Goodell announces departure from Chicago . Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  7. a b The Rules of the Draft . Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  8. The Draft from to Z: Debacles, Riots - and John Wayne! (Letter E) . Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  9. The Draft from to Z: Debacles, Riots - and John Wayne! (Letter S) . Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  10. ^ NFL Announces 32 Compensatory Draft Choices to 16 Clubs. National Football League (NFL), February 24, 2017, accessed on February 25, 2017 (English): “Compensatory picks may be traded this year. A rule change approved by clubs in 2015 permits compensatory draft picks to be traded beginning in 2017. "
  11. ^ NFL Supplemental Draft 2013: Explaining Rules and Order of Picks. Accessed March 28, 2018 (English).
  12. Terrelle Pryor spices up NFL's supplemental draft; party like it's ... April. Accessed March 28, 2018 (English).
  13. ^ A Brief History of the NFL Supplemental Draft. Accessed March 28, 2018 (English).
  14. Out of the shadows: QBs of the 1984 NFL Draft. Accessed March 28, 2018 (English).

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