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    How Many Rounds Are There in the NFL Draft?

    How many rounds are there in the NFL Draft every year? We give you all the information about the NFL Draft rules you should know.

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    What was once just a ministerial act of college football players joining the league has now become a multi-day extravaganza. The NFL Draft went from one long slog of a day to one of the most highly anticipated sports events of the year. Gone are the days of teams having to make decisions across 30 rounds, but how many rounds are there, and what are the significant NFL Draft rules you should know?

    How Many Rounds Are in the NFL Draft?

    The NFL Draft consists of seven rounds. It has been that way since 1994.

    The first round will take place on Thursday, April 25. Rounds 2 and 3 will occur on Friday, April 26, with Rounds 4-7 of the draft going down on Saturday, April 27.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce every pick of the first round live on stage in Detroit. Beginning with the second round, a combination of NFL executives, former players, and other special guests will announce the remaining picks. Once the draft gets into the later rounds, the broadcast no longer televises each pick announcement.

    How Many Picks Are in Each Round of the NFL Draft?

    Despite the number of teams being the same every year, each NFL Draft does not have the same number of picks. This is due to a combination of penalties and compensatory selections that change every year.

    The 2024 NFL Draft will have 257 picks. As always, the team with the worst record over the previous season will receive the No. 1 overall pick, while the Super Bowl champion will make the 32nd selection.

    Last year, the Chicago Bears were slotted to draft first overall, but they traded the pick to the Carolina Panthers. In a reversal of last year, the Panthers earned the No. 1 pick in 2024 but traded it to the Bears.

    Last year, the first round was one pick short, as the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their Day 1 pick due to tampering with another team’s player, revealed to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady. As part of their punishment, they were also stripped of their 2024 third-round selection.

    Each team is initially given one draft selection in each round. However, many end up changing hands by way of trades. The league also awards compensatory picks, meaning that most rounds exceed 32 picks. This is especially the case given the relatively new JC-2A compensatory picks.

    Everything You Need for the 2024 NFL Draft
    Draft Time | Draft Channel | Rules | Draft Order

    This resolution rewards teams who developed minority candidates and then saw them hired into head coach or general manager positions by other organizations. Teams receive two selections if another team hires one candidate; it escalates to three selections if other teams hire two candidates.

    Adding this to the equation sees the picks for each round broken out in the following way:

    • Round 1: 32 picks
    • Round 2: 32 picks
    • Round 3: 36 picks
    • Round 4: 35 picks
    • Round 5: 41 picks
    • Round 6: 44 picks
    • Round 7: 37 picks

    How Long Does Each Team Have To Pick?

    Each team’s amount of time “on the clock” reduces as the draft proceeds. In the first round, the clock is set at 10 minutes. That drops to seven minutes in Round 2 and five in Rounds 3, 4, 5, and 6. For Round 7, the NFL just wants the draft to end, so each team only gets four minutes.

    KEEP READING: How Much Do NFL Draft Picks Get Paid?

    NFL Draft rules are clear. If a team doesn’t make their pick or trade it before the clock expires, the next team in the order is officially on the clock. While they can still make their selection, it becomes a race to make the pick. If both teams want the same player, then whoever locks and sends their card up first owns the rights to said player. It is not common for a team to miss their pick.

    Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

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