From being a low-key event held for recruiting players to the teams, NFL Drafts have turned into highly celebrated events spectated by many. Becoming a part of an NFL team is also a strenuous process, including many tests and trials that take place only after receiving an invitation from the scouts.
Paying close attention to the NFL Drafts is essential to those around the world who bet on nfl odds. These events provide information regarding the team’s renewed strength or continued weaknesses.
The 2021 NFL Draft is set to take place from 29 April to 1 May in Cleveland after the 2020 drafts were conducted virtually due to the pandemic. Las Vegas that was supposed to have hosted the 2020 NFL Draft will host it in 2022.
The History of NFL Drafts
Before 1936, teams were free to sign up players as they wished, increasing the strength disparities between them. The idea of a Draft was proposed only in 1935 by the commissioner Bert Bell.
The very first NFL Draft took place on 8 February 1936 from Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The main aim of NFL Drafts is to equalize the power difference between the teams by giving weaker teams more skilled players. Since 1936, NFL drafts have been conducted every year.
The Draft held in 1936 consisted of 9 rounds, but the number went up to 10 and 20 in the years 1937 and 1939 respectively. Despite the Draft’s aim of equalizing the teams’ abilities, the weakest ones did not achieve any considerable strength until about 1947.
The All-American Football Conference (AAFC), which was established in the 1940s, became a threat to the NFL draft since they too were recruiting the best players. The AAFC could not survive for long and ended its rein in 1949 with three of its teams joining the NFL.
The first player scout, Eddie Kotal, was employed by the Los Angeles Rams in 1946. Though George Taliaferro was the first African-American player selected in the Draft in 1949, Wally Triplett was the first to join an NFL team as Taliaferro signed with an AAFC team.
The NFL’s next major rival, the American Football League (AFL), was established in 1959. The Drafts became competitive again until AFL merged with NFL in 1970.
Kelvin Kirk, who was picked last at 487 in the 1976 NFL Draft, was the first player to receive the nickname Mr Irrelevant. Irrelevant Week began in 1976 and was hosted by Paul Salat until 2013. The concept of Mr Irrelevant gained so much popularity that teams started bargaining for the final pick despite being given the opportunity to pick first.
Another rival of the NFL, the United States Football League (USFL) was founded in 1982. Although their tournaments were set during the off-seasons, they competed against the NFL in the recruitment processes.
The drafting event’s popularity shot up in the 80s with ESPN broadcasting the event live in 1980.
By 1988 the Draft was moved to the weekends and saw an even better viewership via the ESPN broadcast. The NFL Network was established in 2003, and by 2006 it too started broadcasting the Draft events.
From lasting for one or two days, the NFL Drafts became three-day long events by 2010. Today NFL Drafts are presented to viewers as massive functions featuring popular celebrities.
NFL Draft rules and procedures
To be recruited in the NFL a football player must have completed three years after high school. Even though a college education is not mandatory for NFL players, most scouts find proficient athletes from college games.
The teams are given the opportunity to select players based on how they had performed in the last seasons. Among the teams who did not get to playoffs in the previous season, the team with the lowest number of wins will be given the first pick. The last team who gets to pick is usually the previous season’s Super Bowl Champion. If two teams have similar records, various factors are taken into account to break the tie.
Teams are given specific time limits to pick their players during each round. If they do not choose a player during the fixed time, they can let their decision be known later. But in the meanwhile, they stand the risk of losing their preferred player to another team.
The teams also have the ability to trade and negotiate with each other to pick an extra player by giving up their current right to pick one.
Free Agents, who are not under any contracts to a specific team and are free to choose the teams they want to play in, are also signed by different NFL franchises.
NFL Draft is a much-awaited and elaborate event that helps determine which players to look out for in the next tournament. They are an exciting event not just for the teams and coaches, but also for football lovers who stay glued to their televisions during NFL tournaments.