The 86th annual NFL Draft will take place April 29 – May 1, 2021, in Cleaveland, Ohio. This draft is an exciting way to watch a college athlete who has shined on the college level transition into the professional NFL level. Traditionally great college players end up on losing NFL teams. But if the team’s scouts, coaches, and GMs working together can select great college players to turn their losing programs around, then a balance of power will be created in the NFL.
2019 NFL Draft
Last year the draft was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became an entirely remote, fully virtual experience. The league’s 2022 draft plans are to return to Las Vegas. Not only will activities take place around FirstEnergy Stadium, but NFL Draft activities will also take place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
What is the NFL Draft?
Some may ask the question, what is the NFL Draft? It is an annual event where NFL teams have an opportunity to improve their team’s roster by scouting out and selecting college athletes to fill positions on their team they deem lacking.
The thought behind creating the NFL Draft was to design a competitive edge between the teams. The worst teams would be positioned to select earlier in the rounds, choosing the best players available.
NFL Draft Basic Functions
Here are the basic rudiments of the draft. The draft consists of seven rounds; Round one is always on a Thursday, Rounds two-three are on Friday, and Rounds four-seven are on Saturday.
Every NFL team is represented at the draft, and their pick selections vary based upon sidebar deals and trades made between teams before the NFL draft takes place. Teams can offer another team one of their future draft pick selection as a trade for one of their players in the present. And this activity can take place throughout the year, even through the draft process.
Teams Use of Scouts
Another question that may be asked is, How will a team know which player to select? In the 1940s, teams began hiring scouts to go out and create an assessment of college players. These teams improved their rosters immensely, which forces the other teams to follow suit.
Each of the 32-teams receives one pick in each of the seven rounds. One compensatory pick is issued to teams that lose players due to free agency and do not replace them through free agency. Now the free agency is when a player’s contract with that team has expired, and that player is free to sign a contract with any team.
If a team loses two players through free agency and only receives one player through free agency, that team will receive one compensatory pick that can only be used at the end of the third round through the seventh round. It is possible for a team to enter the NFL draft with 12 draft picks other than the regular seven draft picks that every team receives.
Top Ten NFL Draft Teams Predicted
After passing midway through the 2020 NFL season, twelve teams are more than likely to be in a position to select a top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The number one through ten picks in the NFL Draft is projected to go to the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic invasion, it was not sure if an NFL Draft would even take place. Kudos to the NFL, Big-10, and the Pack-12 for powering through these critical times and providing college seniors and other college players entering the draft early an opportunity to reach their goals and dreams. Wishing that this same process of providing those that struggled the previous year to benefit the year after with something or someone will give them a fighting chance. Just thinking for a change.
Opinion News by Omari Jahi
Edited by Cathy Milne-ware
NFL: 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Five QBs go in first round, Patriots and Bears target next franchise passers, by Ryan Wilson
NFL: 2021 NFL Draft dates set for downtown Cleveland, by Nick Shook
WalterFootball: 2021 NFL Mock Draft
ESPN: NFL draft 2021: Big questions for projected top-10 teams, including the Jets, Giants and Cowboys, by Kiper, McShay
Sporting News: How does the NFL Draft work? Rules, rounds, eligibility and more, by Tadd Haislop
USA Today: NFL approves plan to reward teams with draft picks for developing minority coaches, GMs, Jarrett Bell
Features, Top, Second Inset, and Third Inset Images by swimfinfan Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Luis Suarez’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License