2017 NFL Draft – The History, Fascinating Facts & the Draft Order

2017 NFL Draft

All NFL fans are ready to settle down in front of the television at home or in a sports bar to view the 2017 NFL Draft at 8:00p EDT starting on Thursday, April 27th. The Draft has become so abundantly popular that it garners prime time television coverage. But before it become a prime time event, it started with humble roots.

The First National Football League Draft

Photograph of Bert Bell

In December of 1934, Bert Bell, co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, felt that his team’s lack of competitiveness in the league made it difficult for the Eagles to sell tickets and be profitable. Many players left for more money or to play for distinguished teams. Bell believed the only way for the NFL to have enduring success was for all teams to have an equal opportunity to sign eligible players. At a league meeting on May 18, 1935, Bell proposed a draft be instituted to enhance the possibility of competitive parity on the field in order to ensure the financial viability of all franchises. His proposal was adopted unanimously that day, although the first draft would not occur until the next off-season. On February 8, 1936, the first NFL draft began at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. The Eagles finished last place after the 1935 season with a 2-9 record, thus secured first pick in the draft.

The first NFL draft began at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia on February 8, 1936. In the meeting room, ninety names were written on a blackboard from which the teams would choose. As no team had a scouting department, the list was created from either print media sources, visits to local colleges by team executives, or by recommendations to team executives. The draft would last for nine rounds,and it had no media coverage. At that time, only twenty-four of the eighty-one players selected chose to play in the NFL that year. The draft took two days to complete.

Many aspects of the NFL Draft has added to the popularity of the event. The use of scouts to gain athletic information on college athletes was valuable in draft selection. Later in 1960, technology played an important role in the draft. Starting in 1980, the draft was broadcasted live on ESPN. Later in the 80’s, the draft moved from weekdays to the weekend and ESPN’s ratings of the coverage improved greatly.

Fun NFL Draft Facts

  • In 1975, the draft consisted of 17 rounds. In 1977, it was dropped to 12 rounds, and in 1994, that was narrowed to seven rounds.
  • At 13 hours and five minutes, the 2015 NFL Draft was the shortes seven-round draft in the history of the seven-round draft.  The longest, in 2007, took 18 hours and five minutes.
  • “Mr. Irrelevant” is the nickname given to the player dead last in each year’s NFL Draft. A “Mr. Irrelevant” didn’t play in a Super Bowl until 1997: Marty Moore of the New England Patriots.
  • Of the NFL’s 32 teams, 28 have made it to a  Super Bowl. Four remain: the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaquars, the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.
  • The team that’s selected the most players in the NFL draft since the AFL/NFL merger is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Out of every conference, the SEC has had the most players selected in the NFL draft with 239.
  • Of the 25 quarterbacks with the cosst career touchdown passes, 15 were taken in the first round.
  • 23 players drafted No. 100 or worse have made the Hall of Fame, with Tom Brady and Jared Allen likely to join the group.
  • Wilson, which has been the exclusive maker of NFL footballs since 1941, produces 4,000 balls per day.
  • The  Super Bowl Championship Trophy costs $25,000.
  • In the modern NFL draft, there’s only been one year in which a quarterback hasn’t been selected in the first two rounds. That came in 1988.

2017 NFL Draft Order (Trades Included)

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. San Francisco 49ers
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. Tennessee Titans
  6. New York Jets
  7. Los Angeles Chargers
  8. Carolina Panthers
  9. Cincinnati Bengals
  10. Buffalo Bills
  11. New Orleans Saints
  12. Cleveland Browns
  13. Arizona Cardinals
  14. Philadelphia Eagles
  15. Indianapolis Colts
  16. Baltimore Ravens
  17. Washington Redskins
  18. Tennessee Titans
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  20. Denver Broncos
  21. Detroit Lions
  22. Miami Dolphins
  23. New York Giants
  24. Oakland Raiders
  25. Houston Texans
  26. Seattle Seahawks
  27. Kansas City Chiefs
  28. Dallas Cowboys
  29. Green Bay Packers
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers
  31. Atlanta Falcons
  32. New Orleans Saints

While it’s always difficult to predict the next great quarterback, or running back. A correct pick can possible change the course of an organization. It’s not always an easy decision, and there’s many variables at play. But with the goal of winning a super bowl, and adding a year to the teams championship banner, it adds to the drama. That’s what makes the NFL draft exciting.

Reference: wikipedia

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