You never know when the next college football player will become an NFL all-star. When Tom Brady was a college player, he was picked 199th overall in the 2000 NFL draft. He was a sixth-round compensatory pick.
Facts like that make all college players hopeful.
For many football fans, the NFL draft is one of the most exciting parts of the season. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rules in nearly every industry—but will it affect the NFL draft rules?
Will The 2021 NFL Draft Be Different From The Previous Year?
Just like the previous season, NFL teams will make picks in seven rounds that span over three days. There will be no change in the time between rounds—the only difference is that the conference will take place virtually.
So, How Much Time Is Between NFL Draft Picks?
In the first-round, each team will have ten minutes to make their pick. There are seven minutes to make draft picks in the second-round, and five minutes in the third. In rounds 4-7, teams have only four minutes to select a player. There are 32 total draft slots, one for each team in the League. The first-round takes place on the first day of the NFL draft, while the second and third-rounds are the day after; on the third day, rounds 4-7 are held.
What Determines The Draft Order?
There are 32 NFL teams, but only so many players in the draft—who gets the first pick of the litter?
The winners of The Super Bowl will have the last pick in the NFL draft slots. The team that finishes the season with the worst record gets the first pick (at least there are some perks to losing, right?). Playoff teams are assigned slots 21-32. Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, will be announcing the first-round picks.
If two teams have an equal score, the order is determined by what’s called strength of schedule. Basically, it’s a statistic that measures how difficult their opponents were. Strength of schedule is based on the win percentage of opposing teams. The idea is that if you lose to a team with a higher win percentage, that makes you a stronger team. The team with the lower strength of schedule (less difficult opponents) gets first pick.
Are There Other Kinds Of Drafts?
When a new franchise is added to the National Football League, there is an expansion draft. In it, each NFL team must make five players available to expansion teams (although not all 5 are picked).
A supplemental draft takes place months after the NFL draft picks. It allows NFL teams to place bids on players who were not eligible to enter the draft. The caveat is that by picking a player from a supplemental draft, the team forfeits a pick in the next NFL draft.
Finally, there are compensatory picks in the draft, which we will detail below:
How Do NFL Compensatory Picks Work?
Compensatory picks are meant to, well, compensate teams who’ve lost out due to unrestricted free agency. Any team that has lost value in free agents (either by the number of players or their quality) can receive a compensatory pick—in other words, any team that loses more players (or more valuable players) than they sign.
Each year, 32 picks are distributed by the NFL based on a formula. It accounts for the postseason honors, field time, and salary of the free agent—at least, that’s what most people guess, because the League keeps the actual formula top secret.
According to the NFL draft rules, compensatory picks can take place during the third to seventh rounds. This means that an NFL team cannot receive compensatory picks for the first-round or second-round. One team can have a maximum of four compensatory picks, which can be traded to other teams.
The time between NFL draft picks is the same for compensatory picks. They are simply additional selections for teams in designated rounds. For example, if an NFL team has a third-round compensatory pick, they would still be given five minutes.
Click the following link for more information on compensatory picks in the NFL draft.
Get ready for three days of nail-biting as you wait and see how your favorite teams fare in the NFL draft. Look out for the 2021 draft picks on April 29-May 1st on the NFL network (although the date is subject to change). You can use social media features on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest draft pick news.
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