Professional sports drafts consist of teams choosing athletes that they think are the best fit for their team. All drafts look different based upon the sports that are hosting them. The National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball conduct their drafts differently than others.
National Football League
The National Football league held its draft on April 29th and ended on May 1st, 2021. The selection of players is conducted by college athletes, players from other teams previously in the NFL, and free agents. The draft itself consists of seven rounds, the rounds are split between three days. The first day is only for the first-round draft picks, Friday is selected for second and third rounds and Saturday is for rounds four through seven.
Each round has 32 picks and each round has a time limit for each team selecting players. On the first day, teams get ten minutes to pick their players, seven minutes in the second round, five minutes through rounds three through six, and four minutes for round seven. The order in which teams select players is based on the team’s success in the previous season. Whichever team did the worst in the season gets the first pick in every round and the Superbowl champions picks last. Slots 1-20 are assigned to teams how didn’t make the playoffs and the Superbowl champions have slot 32 and the last pick in each round.
Players coming out of high school are required to have completed three years and have used their college eligibility before the beginning of the upcoming college football season. Recent college graduates are eligible for the draft within the year of their last collegiate game.
For more information about the NFL Draft, click the link below to stay up to date with all news and schedules following the 2021 draft.
Major League Baseball
The Major League Baseball draft will be held on July 11th-13th 2021 in Denver, Colorado. This year’s draft will last 20 rounds as compared to the 2020 draft that was shortened due to COVID with five rounds. Recent high school graduates and or high school graduates who have completed one year of junior college are eligible for the draft. Athletes attending four-year colleges are eligible by their junior year or when they turn 21 years old.
The draft rounds are structured similarly to the NFL’s draft that being in reverse order by each team’s prior season standing. This year’s order will start with the Pittsburgh Pirates and will end with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the previous World Series Champions from the 2020 season. The Houston Astros were denied their first and second-round picks in 2020 and now in 2021 as punishment for sign stealing. The league also assigns value to each pick in the first ten rounds. The overall total of the salaries can’t go over the total amount for the slot values in the first 10 rounds.
The National Basketball Association
The NBA Draft 2021 takes place on July 29, 2021, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. There are two total rounds in the draft and within the 30 teams in the NBA each team gets a pick in each round, therefore 60 players get drafted each year. The NBA conducts the draft by having a Draft lottery, the purpose is so that the team that wins the lottery gets the first pick in the draft instead of the worst team choosing first. This means the first 14 picks are structured by the lottery and the remaining teams are picked similar to other professional sports leagues, by previous team standings in reverse order.
Teams can also trade draft picks before and during the draft process. Eligibility for the draft includes athletes being at least 19 years old and has been graduated from high school for at least one year. Player Eligibility is also guaranteed if the athlete has completed four years at a college/university. Teams have five minutes to choose their desired athlete in each round of the draft.
The National Hockey League
The National Hockey League’s 2021 draft begins July 23 and ends on July 24th and is set to be in Secaucus, New Jersey but the players will enter the draft through zoom. Since the draft will be held virtually, day one of the draft will only consist of round one, the following day will hold rounds two through seven. The NHL’s draft process is similar to other professional sports drafts by having draft picks based upon the lottery, previous season standings, and playoff results. Athletes entering the draft are considered if they are 18-20 years old when the draft begins.
The draft consists of 7 rounds and 31 picks are allowed throughout each round. In total players are coming from three different types of organizations to be considered for the draft which includes junior hockey leagues in the US and Canada, European junior and senior hockey leagues, and NCAA teams. Although the age requirements are between 18-20 years old, if players are over 20 years old they can join a team they choose as free agents. This year the draft will start with the Buffalo Sabres with the first pick and the second pick will go to the Seattle Kraken.