American Football: What You Need to Know About the NFL Draft

In the draft National Football League (NFL) in Las Vegas in late April, the best college football players will be selected by the 32 NFL clubs. Austria’s football hope Bernhard Raimann will join.

The 24-year-old will most likely be the first Austrian to get a spot on an NFL team via draft. In addition, the offensive tackle finally learns which team he will play for in the future.

When and where will the NFL draft be held?

The 87th NFL draft will be held in Las Vegas on the 28th-30th. April.

Who is in the draft?

Basically, all football players who have been out of high school for at least three years can stand for election. As a rule, however, the athletes have completed a football program at various American universities.

How many picks does each NFL team have in the draft, which means how many players each NFL team can pick?

In principle, each team receives one ticket per. round. There are seven rounds in total. In addition, so-called compensation choices are handed out – based on the transfer balance or when clubs hire coaches or general managers who have a minority background or are snipers from them. Additionally, since each NFL team can swap choices for players and / or other choices, the number of tickets per teams vary considerably. The Miami Dolphins have only four picks for the Las Vegas draft, while the Kansas City Chiefs have twelve picks.

Why is there a draft at all?

The drafting process is unique to the professional leagues in the United States. It was first introduced by the NFL in 1936. Bert Bell, then president of the Philadelphia Eagles, is considered the inventor. He wanted to create some sort of distribution mechanism to eliminate betting for the best young players, which was to the detriment of everyone. And somehow it should also favor the weaker teams to prevent the strongest talents from joining the strongest clubs and make them even stronger.

How is the order of picking determined?

The worst team from the previous season gets the first choice in each round, the Super Bowl winner always gets the choice 32. Occasionally is ranked according to the season balance, the better a team has done, the later it can vote. The NFL wants to achieve more balanced championships with this.

Can teams switch choices during the draft, and how much time is there to think about it?

Each choice, also from the coming years, can be exchanged for one or more tickets or for players. As there is some time for reflection and negotiation during the draft, the pressure on the clubs’ daily leaders is particularly high. If you still have ten minutes for each pick in the first round, it’s seven in round two, five from round three, and four minutes in round seven. If you do not have time to announce your choice in time, you will lose a place and can only move on to the next team.

How much do players who enter the NFL earn as rookies?

This varies and depends on the draft position. The 2021 No. 1 pick, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, was handed a nearly $ 37 million four-year working paper by the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Defender Joe Tryon, draft number 32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, received a $ 11 million contract. Under the current agreement, a rookie contract can be entered into for a maximum of four years. There is the option of team-side for a fifth year for players drawn in the first round.

Can a player reject the team that drafted them?

Theoretically yes, but in practice this is extremely rare as a young professional would spoil a lot of options with it. Since the size of the draft position determines the size of the first rookie contract, a previously drafted player could potentially miss out on guaranteed millions of dollars. Other than that, the team will retain the rights of the selected player for at least one year. Only then would he be “free” to sign elsewhere. In such a case, one usually seeks a trade so that both parties come out well. A prominent example is John Elway, who did not want to play for the Baltimore Colts in 1983. He and the team agreed on a transfer to the Denver Broncos.

Who is “Mr. Irrelevant”?

The player selected with the last choice in the draft is referred to as “Mister Irrelevant”. The rationale for the ironic title is that the athletes being pulled at this point are not usually destined to have a great NFL career. The most famous Mr. Irrelevant is probably kicker Ryan Succop, who was selected as the 256th player by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 and won the Super Bowl in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady. This year, the San Francisco 49ers own this party, it is the 262nd overall election this year.

What happens to the players who are not included in the draft?

Players who stand empty-handed are considered “unsupervised free agents” after the draft, and they can negotiate with any NFL club to get a contract. Each team can fill its squad with such players on very favorable terms, as up to 90 team players are allowed in the preparation.

What happens after the draft? What’s next for “rookies”?

The newcomers move into their team’s rookie camp already the first or second weekend after the draft. The contract is usually signed there with individual agreements, such as when and in what form the signing bonus is paid out. There are several other training camps, preparatory courses and seminars before the big training camp in the summer – some of them compulsory, some of them voluntary. The older professionals in the squad get more time off.

When does the preseason start this year, and when does the season start?

The preseason NFL season begins Aug. 4 with the “Hall of Fame” game, with each team playing three preseason games against other NFL teams. The start of the season is a good month later on September 8, the first game is traditionally reserved for the defending champion, this year the Los Angeles Rams.

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