2020 Virtual NFL Draft for COVID-19
For the first time ever the 2020 NFL Draft will be fully virtual, to comply with social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. All 32 NFL teams, NFL prospects and everyone else involved in the draft will be participating remotely, using video conferencing applications setup in their homes or otherwise broadcasting from remote locations that adhere to social distancing guidelines of 10 people or less gathering in one location.
ESPN will have a small crew of hosts and commentators in-person at their Bristol, Connecticut studio for live coverage, and they will be joined by analysts, reporters and other experts remotely.
Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner will virtually introduce the draft picks from his home.
2020 Draft-A-Thon: COVID-19 Charity Fundraising
The entire 2020 NFL Draft will be a charity fundraiser, which they are calling the 'Draft-A-Thon'. Six charities were chosen by the NFL, to fund raise for their programs that help combat the social impact of COVID-19. Fans will be able to donate to a single location during the draft. The six charities are:
American Red Cross
CDC Foundation's All of Us: Combat Coronavirus Campaign
Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund
Meals on Meals COVID-19 Response Fund
United Way's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund
Throughout the entire 2020 NFL Draft, the NFL will also pay tribute to first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines of battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch the NFL Draft on TV
The NFL Draft airs live on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network over a three-day period. ESPN and NFL Network broadcast the exact same live coverage, while ABC airs its own coverage for the first three rounds and simulcasts ESPN's coverage for rounds 4-7.
All three networks air the entire NFL Draft on this schedule:
Day 1 - First Round
Day 2 - Second & Third Round
Day 3 - Rounds 4-7
ABC is a local TV station that can be picked up for free with a digital antenna hooked up to your television. If you don't live close enough to an ABC tower, this station is included in most every basic cable TV package.
ESPN and NFL Network are cable networks that require a cable plan to access. Most every basic cable provider offers ESPN included in its base plan, whether you go with an online TV provider, satellite TV or traditional cable. NFL Network is widely available in most plans too.
Live Stream the NFL Draft
You can live stream the NFL Draft for free in its entirety on the NFL app. Or watch the live stream on the WatchESPN website or ESPN app, once you sign in with your cable credentials. Same is true for the NFL Network website.
The live stream apps for NFL and ESPN work on any Android or Apple mobile or tablet, and most every popular streaming device or gaming console.
ABC also offers a live stream website and app, though its only available for certain areas.
Listen to Live Coverage of the NFL Draft
Audio coverage of the entire NFL Draft is broadcast on ESPN Radio. You can listen live for free from your vehicle's radio or an AM/FM tuner if you live in or close to a city that carries an ESPN Radio affiliate station. If not, you can listen online or in your vehicle with a subscription to SiriusXM radio.
First Round of NFL Draft
32 players are selected in the first round of the draft, and the NFL devotes the first full day of draft coverage to the first round alone. This round of coverage typically last 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Teams select players based on their team record from the prior season, ordered worst to best. Last season's Super Bowl Champion, for example, picks last. Teams can and often do trade their draft spots to other teams. And some teams might have already given their draft spots away from prior season trading.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the start of the NFL Draft to kick off Round 1. And typically teams send up ex-players or people important to the franchise in one way or another to officially announce their selection.
Teams have 10 minutes in the first round to officially make their draft selections.
Second & Third Round of NFL Draft
64 players are selected on the 2nd day of the NFL Draft, between the second and third rounds. The second day of draft coverage typically lasts 4 to 4 1/12 hours.
The 'on the clock' time limit speeds up on the second day of coverage, where teams only have 7 minutes to make second round selections and 5 minutes to select third round draft picks.
Teams can continue to trade picks throughout the draft and the order of who's selecting when can change rapidly as team's wheel and deal a lot in real time, especially after the first round.
Rounds 4-7 of NFL Draft
The third and final day of the NFL Draft consists of 128 players being selected, throughout rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7. This coverage typically lasts up to 7 hours. Sometimes longer.
Teams still get 5 minutes to chose draft picks in rounds four, five and six. But it shortens to 4 minutes in the final seventh round. The final round also consists of a lot of compensatory picks, awarded by the NFL based on how many players a team lost or gained throughout the last season and into the postseason, weighted on their value to the team.