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A ROOKIE'S GUIDE TO THE NFL DRAFT – 20 Tips

THE BASICS

  1. The NFL Draft gives teams the opportunity to improve their roster by adding the most talented college football players
  2. Each franchise has one pick per round over seven rounds
  3. The team's overall records from the previous season determine the draft order – the team with the worst record picks first and the Super Bowl winners pick last
  4. Teams with the same record are slotted in consideration to the strength of their schedule
  5. Teams have 10 minutes to pick in the first round, then seven minutes in the second round and five minutes in rounds 3-7
  6. If a franchise fails to beat the clock they can still make their pick but only after the next team
  7. Teams can trade players and high picks for more draft selections
  8. Up to 32 compensatory picks are also handed out by the NFL to teams who have lost more players than they have gained or the ones that have signed are considered of a poorer quality
  • If fewer than 32 are handed out then the rest will be used to begin an eighth round

THE PLAYERS

  1. Players are only eligible once out of high school for at least three years
  2. Players are analysed through games and the NFL Combine where they take tests including the 40-yard sprint, bench press and an intelligence test called the 'Wonderlic test'
  3. However some players considered guaranteed picks may opt out of certain drills
  4. This is because they get another chance in front of coaches at their school's Pro Day

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THE DRAFT WEEKEND

  1. The first pick is the most important as the perceived best player
  2. Teams will either draft the best player available or the best player available in their position of need in the team
  3. The franchise will be based in a 'War Room' where they make their selections and inform officials present at the draft
  4. Where you are selected is no measure of success
  • JaMarcus Russell was the very first pick of the 2007 draft but lasted just three seasons as a pro after struggling in the NFL
  • Tom Brady was selected 199th overall and has gone on to become one of the very best quarterbacks in NFL history
  1. Players expecting to be first-round selections will attend the draft while the rest are more likely to wait for the phone call at home
  2. The last player picked is titled 'Mr Irrelevant' and invited to 'Irrelevant Week' – a party in their honour in Newport Beach, California where they receive the Lowsman Trophy
  3. Drafted players can turn down a contract but they must wait another year for the next draft to play in the NFL
  4. Once complete, the aim of the draft is to have improved the weaker teams and help restore some parity to the league  
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