ROOKIES CORNER© – THE DRAFT

The Basics


A ‘Draft’ is a system used throughout american sports, and allows upcoming college players to compete in professional leagues. Teams select players who are eligible, to best fit their demands. Any player from the 123 major colleges or the thousands of smaller schools can enter the draft, provided they have been out of high school for at least 3 years.

The Draft works in a pretty simple way: 7-rounds, 32 teams, each team has one pick per round, but more can be added through trades and compensatory picks. There is a total of 256 picks.

Each team has a maximum of 10 minutes to make their pick in Round 1, decreasing in time further into the draft you get.

Draft Position Pick Number
Non-playoff teams 1-20
Wild Card losses 21-24
Divisional losses 25-28
Conference runners-up 29-30
Super Bowl runners-up 31
Super Bowl Champion 32

The Basics


A ‘Draft’ is a system used throughout american sports, and allows upcoming college players to compete in professional leagues. Teams select players who are eligible, to best fit their demands. Any player from the 123 major colleges or the thousands of smaller schools can enter the draft, provided they have been out of high school for at least 3 years.

The Draft works in a pretty simple way: 7-rounds, 32 teams, each team has one pick per round, but more can be added through trades and compensatory picks. There is a total of 256 picks.

Each team has a maximum of 10 minutes to make their pick in Round 1, decreasing in time further into the draft you get.

Trading


It’s not always that simple though. Teams can trade picks to other teams, to move up the Draft board and gain players that they think best suits their organisation. Each pick has a ‘value’, the higher the pick, the more it is worth. Trading comes at a cost; players and draft picks can be traded, including draft picks of future years.

Compensatory Picks


Teams can also gain picks through ‘Compensatory Picks’. These start at the end the third round, and occur at the end of each of the subsequent rounds.

Compensatory picks are awarded based on losses in free agency from the previous year. The NFL uses an extremely complicated formula to work these out, but essentially, they are based on the size of contracts.

For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers received the first pick of the 2014 draft, at the end of the third round. This was because they had lost Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins in the previous free agency period, on a contract averaging $12 million per year.

You find the ‘elite’ players will go during the earlier rounds. However, this does not mean great players will not be found in the higher picks. Arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady, was drafter in the sixth round of the NFL draft back in 2000. He has gone on to win four Super Bowls and been at two-time league MVP (Most Valuable Player).