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NFL Draft 2021: How long is day 1 of the draft?

NFL Draft Experience Media Preview
NFL Draft Experience Media Preview
ANALYST
Modified 29 Apr 2021
Feature

Each franchise team in the NFL has a chance to begin a new dynasty with a roster packed full of superb rookie talent tonight at the 2021 NFL Draft, being broadcast live around the world from Cleveland, Ohio at 8 pm EST.

Last year's event was a bit different, considering that there was no live ceremony or celebration of football due to COVID. But seeing young stars who have sacrificed so much to make it to the NFL celebrate at home with their loved ones still made for some truly great viewing.

Tonight's 2021 NFL Draft will be different though. Most of the hyped college stars projected to go off the board early will be in attendance; representatives of all 32 teams will be in the building (apart from the Rams), and there will even be booths available for fans to sit and enjoy the festivities in comfort, provided they've had their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Every team and player who will be involved tonight has the chance to go on to future success, including and beginning tonight in Cleveland. The intangible smell of hope is in the air, and I think that's the most beautiful thing about football and sport in general: during the dark days of the pandemic, in particular, sport -- and for me: football -- gave people hope.

Buckle up and get ready for a superb night of action and emotion.

But, for those of us who perhaps don't live on the East Coast of the USA, it might be wise to check ahead to see exactly what time you'll be waking up/ going to bed, as the first-round, in particular, can go on for some considerable time.

How long is the first round at the NFL Draft tonight?

As mentioned, tonight's 2021 NFL Draft will begin at 8 pm Eastern time (USA).

I'm English and this website is Indian, so if any of my countrymen or my Indian friends are reading, that's 1 am GMT, OR 5.30 am IST.

There are 32 picks per round, but then there are likely to be trades, etc., so this doesn't necessarily dictate that every team picks a new rookie star in each round. For instance, at tonight's event, the Rams, Seahawks, and Texans won't be on the clock at all in the first round, having surrendered their picks in trades (unless they trade back up, of course).

Nevertheless, each team has 10 minutes to make their pick and, most teams take their sweet time about in the first-round in particular. Cynics say this is because commissioner Goodell and the networks like to draw out suspense and drama for the TV audience.

So to answer the question of how long each round in the NFL draft is, well, tonight's first-round could potentially last for as long as five hours and 20 minutes (32 picks x 10 mins).

In truth, the first-round rarely goes on that long -- I don't remember it ever going on that long, to be honest -- more likely it will take about four-four and a half hours, meaning our friends on the East Coast of America can get to bed nice and early at about midnight; our Indian readership can head off to work the moment the Bucs make the last pick at about 9.30 am-10 (hopefully, with some great excuses for their bosses), and myself and the rest of the UK and nearby central Europe can expect a tough day in the office tomorrow, as we'll be pressing on with about three hours sleep: the draft won't finish here until about 5-5.30 am.

Who needs sleep anyway? Let's go!!!

Published 29 Apr 2021
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