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Here's what to look for in the 2021 NFL Draft

Draft Scene Football
Posted at 7:25 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 05:32:58-04

With the 2021 NFL Draft beginning on Thursday, this year's draft will allow a select number of fans, prospects, fans, and media crews to attend.

Last year's draft was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's draft is taking place in Cleveland, with the first round kicking off at 8 p.m. ET and can be watched on ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network.

"We are thrilled to be heading to Cleveland for the NFL Draft, which has become one of the most highly anticipated events in sports," NFL executive Peter O'Reilly said in a statement back in March. "Just months after executing a safe and successful Super Bowl LV, we look forward to bringing the excitement of our draft traditions to fans in collaboration with the Browns, Destination Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the City of Cleveland, and all of our local Cleveland partners."

The NFL will set the main stage of the draft against the backdrop of Lake Erie.

Fans will be able to participate in free events in accordance with state and local public officials to ensure a safe and successful draft.

The NFL said fans will be required to wear face coverings and "adhere to appropriate physical distancing at draft activities."

The first team to select first overall this year is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are likely to choose quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

According to most NFL Draft experts, several college stars, including Heisman winner Devonta Smith, Kyle Pitts, and Justin Fields are likely to be selected in the first round.

Here is what to look for this weekend:

The basics

The NFL Draft is being held in downtown Cleveland across from FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Great Lakes Science Center.

The first round will start Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Each team will have 10 minutes to make their choice. The second and third rounds are on Friday, and rounds 4-7 are on Saturday.

According to the NFL Draft rules, teams will get seven minutes per selection in the second round, five minutes for regular or compensatory picks in rounds 3-6, and four minutes in round 7.

2021 NFL Draft order

Round 1:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. New York Jets
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami via Houston)
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. Cincinnati Bengals
  6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia)
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. Carolina Panthers
  9. Denver Broncos
  10. Dallas Cowboys
  11. New York Giants
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami via San Francisco)
  13. Los Angeles Chargers
  14. Minnesota Vikings
  15. New England Patriots
  16. Arizona Cardinals
  17. Las Vegas Raiders
  18. Miami Dolphins
  19. Washington Football Team
  20. Chicago Bears
  21. Indianapolis Colts
  22. Tennessee Titans
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle)
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)
  26. Cleveland Browns
  27. Baltimore Ravens
  28. New Orleans Saints
  29. Green Bay Packers
  30. Buffalo Bills
  31. Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City)
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL disciplined three teams by taking away single draft picks, according to CBS Sports.

The New England Patriots surrendered a third-round pick for its alleged illegal filming of an opponent's 2019 game, while the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints surrendered sixth-round picks for violating COVID-19 protocols last season.