Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 NFL Draft Information

Tonight all of the random speculation and mock-everything ends as the NFL kicks off the annual college player selection process known as the NFL Draft. Here is the basic info you may be looking for:

When does the draft start?
The draft begins at 7:00 p.m. CT. (Green Bay time).

How can I watch the draft on TV and online?
The draft’s on ESPN, and also the NFL Network. You can stream it on WatchESPN. It’s on all of ESPN’s streaming platforms, including apps on iOS and Android, Xbox and PlayStation, Chromecast, and the like. ESPN begins its live coverage at 6:00 p.m. CT, but both ESPN and the NFL Network will be live from Philadelphia before that. ESPN’s coverage starts with a local taping of Mike & Mike at 5:00 a.m. CT and runs through the night. NFL Network will broadcast NFL Draft Kickoff from 12:00 p.m. CT until the draft formally starts seven hours later.

Where is the 2017 NFL draft?
It’s in Philadelphia, along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the city’s Museum of Art. From 1965 through 2014, the draft was located in New York City every year. It moved to the Auditorium Theater in Chicago for the last two years. This year’s venue in Philadelphia includes a main stage that is outdoors, and it looks like the environment along the Franklin Parkway will be pretty neat.

What’s going to happen on Thursday night?
Of course, the logistics of the draft are secondary to the players and teams involved. The likely first overall pick is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, a pass-rushing demon who could change the face of the Browns’ (or some other team’s) defense.

It’s a difficult year to be drafting a quarterback, though that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. The quickest route to becoming a good NFL team is to find a good quarterback, and the prospect of drafting one is always tantalizing. North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson could each be that guy for somebody, but both come with some weak points. There will be risk in picking either, but also the potential of a massive payout. How teams manage the risk will shape the first round.

Friday’s drafting will include an even 32 picks. (There are no compensatory first-rounders, and no team this year has been docked its pick.) Entering the weekend, the Browns have two picks in the top 12, and the Titans have two in the top 18. The Saints also have two first-round picks. The Patriots, Rams and Vikings don’t have any at all, having traded them away in the last year.

ESPN will broadcast the entire draft over its three days, and the NFL Network will also have live coverage. Thursday night’s festivities include a red carpet walk with players, family, and coaches, which has become a popular TV event in the last few years. The draft is a made-for-TV event and has been for years, although the advent of Twitter reporting has taken a lot of suspense out of the pick-to-pick grind. It’s hard to keep a lid on things until Roger Goodell announces them from the podium.

When are the Packers picks?
Keep in mind that everything seen below can and will change once the draft gets going and teams make trades to move up in the draft order:

When is the rest of the Draft?
Rounds 2-3 also will be held in prime time, beginning on Friday, April 28, at 6:00 p.m. CT. Rounds 4-7 will complete the draft on Saturday, April 29, starting at 11:00 a.m. CT.

Teams will have 10 minutes in between selections in the first round and seven minutes between each choice for Round 2. Rounds 3-6, including compensatory picks, will allow up to five minutes in between picks and Round 7, including compensatory picks, will allow four minutes.
Source: SB Nation; Green Bay Packers