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When is the NFL Draft in 2021? Date, time, and live draft events in Cleveland

With Super Bowl LV bringing the season to an end, just one question remains for football fans — when is the date of the 2021 NFL Draft?

When is the 2021 NFL Draft?
CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 14: An official NFL football sits on the field during the second half of the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

With Super Bowl LV bringing the NFL season to an end, one question remains for football fans. When is the NFL Draft in 2021? Thankfully for you, Pro Football Network has all the information on the NFL’s annual selection event, including the NFL Draft date, location, and much more.

When is the NFL Draft in 2021?

  • NFL Draft Date: Thursday, April 29th – Saturday, May 1st
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • TV Channel: NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes

The midwest will host the extravaganza, as the 2021 NFL Draft will head to Cleveland, Ohio. At present, however, there is a lack of certainty about what the event will actually look like. There is no location in place as of yet. The NFL continues to battle the disruption caused by the ongoing global situation.

Following the success of the 2020 virtual Draft, there is every reason to believe that something similar could be arranged this year.

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What we do know for sure is when the NFL Draft will take place in 2021. Roger Goodell will open one of the NFL’s largest events on Thursday, April 29th, and it will last until the 257th selection on Saturday, May 1st. For those unfamiliar with how the NFL Draft works, here’s a brief rundown of what to expect each day.

Thursday, April 29th, 8:00 PM ET

The NFL Draft’s opening date is when you can expect to hear the big names called in Round 1.

Typically, a lavish red carpet ceremony awaits a select number of prospects in attendance who wait patiently to hear their name called by one of the 32 NFL teams. Each team has 10 minutes in which to make their selection or negotiate a trade with another team.

Friday, April 30th, 7:00 PM ET

The second day of the 2021 NFL Draft is when Rounds 2 and 3 are held. Each team has seven minutes to get their selection in. This is normally where you’ll find former NFL players or figures associated with a particular franchise announcing the picks.

Saturday, May 1st, 12:00 PM ET

The first day of May is the final date of the 2021 NFL Draft. On this third day of draft festivities, the remaining rounds are held. There are seven rounds in total in the three-day event. Teams get five minutes to pick in Rounds 4-6. In the seventh and final round, they have just four minutes to make their selection.

In recent years, the NFL Draft’s final day has seen a rise in ridiculous selection announcements. Although this year may be virtual once again, there will no doubt be surprises in store.

Who has the first pick in the NFL Draft in 2021?

The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It is the first time in their short history they will pick number one overall. They “earned” the right to pick first after finishing the 2020 NFL season with the worst record in franchise history. Despite winning their season opener, the Jaguars went on to lose 15 consecutive games.

Although they’ve never had the first overall pick, the Jaguars selected second in their inaugural NFL Draft back in 1995. They used their first-ever selection on USC offensive tackle Tony Boselli. Since then, the Jaguars have picked inside the top 10 of the NFL Draft on 18 occasions. Most recently, they used the ninth overall pick last year to select cornerback C.J. Henderson out of Florida.

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The Jaguars have used their first-round pick to select a quarterback on three occasions. In 2003, they drafted Byron Leftwich out of Marshall. Eight years later, they chose Blaine Gabbert before selecting Blake Bortles out of UCF in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Unless something extraordinary happens, the Jaguars will use the first overall selection on a quarterback again this year. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has his name already etched on the draft card. The 2021 NFL Draft will get really interesting when the New York Jets are on the clock with the second overall selection.

Live NFL Draft events in Cleveland to take place

Many fans have been wondering if the NFL will host a live draft in Cleveland this year, and it was recently announced that fans will be able to attend in person events. Along with fans, a number of NFL Draft prospects will take the stage, much like years past, and Pro Football Network will be there as well!

Can you buy tickets for the NFL Draft?

A limited number of attendees will be allowed to attend what’s being known as the “Inner Circle”. These attendees aren’t able to buy tickets as fans, rather will be chosen by each of the 32 clubs to serve as their Draft ambassadors. These fans will have a front row seat to the live events happening on the NFL Draft Main Stage. To be eligible and included in the “Inner Circle”, fans must be up-to-date on their vaccine.

It won’t be all about getting next to the stage. The main stage is set up right outside First Energy Stadium and near both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Great Lakes Science Center. Much like in the past, there will be a number of fun and exciting events put on by both the NFL and City of Cleveland for fans choosing to safely attend events during NFL Draft weekend.

Want more 2021 NFL Draft news? Want to do your own mock draft?

Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.

Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.


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