NFL Draft

NFL+Draft

Sunny Lee, Copy Editor

The NFL Draft, officially called the Player Selection Meeting, is an annual event hosted in April that serves as one of the league’s means of player recruitment. There are seven rounds in the NFL draft; in each round, a team can either select a player, trade its draft position or player, or choose any combination of the choices. The 2021 NFL Draft begins Friday, April 30, and ends on Saturday, May 1. It is scheduled to take place in Cleveland, Ohio, with TV stations such as ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network broadcasting the event to fans all over the world. 

“Since I am a big NFL fan, I look forward to this event as it is unofficially but essentially the beginning of this season,” Jefferson Lee (11), a football fan, said. “I am paying attention to some of the top prospects, such as Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, as they are all over social media and many seem to validate their high level of skill set. Last year, the whole event was virtual and there was no audience, which led to lower energy in the atmosphere. Fortunately, some prospects and audience are invited to attend the event in-person, so I hope that will spice up the event a bit more.”

The order of selection is determined in reverse of the team’s performance the previous year. For example, since the Jacksonville Jaguars had the worst performance during 2020, they will receive the first draft pick. Because of this, the Jaguars are expected to take Trevor Lawrence, Clemson University’s star quarterback and the number one prospect for this season’s NFL draft. The second prospect is Zach Wilson, the number one quarterback for Brigham Young University. Determined to select Zach Wilson, the New York Jets traded away Sam Darnold, the starting quarterback for the Jets. The attention is gearing toward whether the hype warrants the prospects’ potential.

“The quarterbacks, like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields, have already proven their skillset in college,” Brian Lee (11), an avid fan of the NFL, said. “I personally think that any and all of those three players can have a bigger impact on their respective teams than Joe Burrow, last year’s first overall pick. Quarterbacks are always the center of attention, but the wide receivers this year also deserve recognition. The audience should also take notice of Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith to enjoy this year’s season more effectively. This year is one of the most exciting years as there are a lot of quarterbacks taking part in the draft.” 

The NFL Draft is very popular amongst American football fans or sports fans, although it, ironically, does not contain any form of sports. In 2020, when the whole event was held virtually due to COVID-19, an average of 8.4 million viewers watched all three days of the 2020 NFL Draft across different broadcast channels. Not only is there a solid NFL fan base as it is the most popular professional league, but the NFL extensively promotes the draft, drawing more fans in by building tension and excitement. It also involves college football, so the fandom built around college football players is attracted to the event as well. 

“I think the reason why the NFL Draft is so popular is that it increases the competitive parity between the teams as the worst team would, ideally, be able to acquire the best player available,” Philip Yoo (11), an NFL fan, said. “By watching the draft, fans of weaker teams hope to redeem themselves by earning a draft lottery pick. I realized that this factor really makes the NFL drafts more exciting than NBA drafts. The anticipation that the NFL brings is like no other. Although it may look pathetic to people who are not interested in watching American football, I believe it provides an adrenaline rush and joy for football fans.”