National Football League Draft

The National Football League Draft, also called the NFL Draft or (officially) the Player Selection Meeting, is an annual event which serves as the league's most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order in reverse order relative to its record in the previous year, which means that the last place team is positioned first and the Super Bowl champion is last. From this position, the team can either select a player or trade its position to another team for other draft positions, a player or players, or any combination thereof. The round is complete when each team has either selected a player or traded its position in the draft. The first draft was held in 1936, and has been held every year since.

The current logo for the NFL Draft

Certain aspects of the draft, including team positioning and the number of rounds in the draft, have been revised since its creation in 1936, but the fundamental method has remained the same. Currently, the draft consists of seven rounds. The original rationale in creating the draft was to increase the competitive parity between the teams as the worst team would, ideally, be able to choose the best player available. In the early years of the draft, players were chosen based on hearsay, print media, or other rudimentary evidence of ability. In the 1940s, some franchises began employing full-time scouts. The ensuing success of these teams eventually forced the other franchises to also hire scouts.

Colloquially, the name of the draft each year takes on the form of the NFL season in which players picked could begin playing. For example, the 2010 NFL Draft was for the 2010 NFL season. However, the NFL-defined name of the process has changed since its inception. The location of the draft has continually changed over the years to accommodate more fans, as the event has gained popularity. The draft's popularity now garners prime-time television coverage. In the league's early years, from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, the draft was held in various cities with NFL franchises until the league settled on New York City starting in 1965, where it remained for fifty years until 2015, when future draft locations started being determined through a yearly bidding process.


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