How Long is the NFL Draft? (How Many Picks and Rounds Are There?)

How long is the NFL Draft? Number of picks, rounds and time on the clock between selections.
How long is the NFL Draft? Number of picks, rounds and time on the clock between selections. / (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

NFL Draft Week is officially upon us once again. Football fans are amped for this year's event as their teams prepare to add some exciting young talent to their rosters.

Considering this is a multi-day event, though, interested viewers want to make sure they catch as much of the action as possible. With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the format and schedule of the NFL Draft.

How Long is the NFL Draft?

The format of the NFL Draft has changed numerous times since the event was first held in 1936. However, the league adopted a three-day format in 2010 that is still in use today. Thursday always marks the beginning of the draft with Round 1. Rounds 2 and 3 then take place on Friday, and the event wraps up with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

How Much Time is on the Clock Between NFL Draft Picks?

The time teams have for each NFL Draft pick changes depending on the round. In the first round, organizations have 10 minutes on the clock to make a selection, which then decreases in following rounds.

The time on clock drops to seven minutes in Round 2. During Rounds 3-6, franchises get five minutes to make normal or compensatory picks. The last round features just four minutes on the clock for every choice.

How Many Rounds Are in the NFL Draft?

The first iteration of the NFL Draft in 1936 featured nine rounds. This number increased to 10 the next year, and even ballooned to 13 at one point. However, the modern-day version of the NFL Draft utilizes just seven rounds. Traditionally, the first round is held exclusively on Thursday. Meanwhile, Rounds 2-3 are grouped together on Friday, and Rounds 4-7 conclude the event on Saturday.

How Many Picks Are in the NFL Draft?

The number of picks in each NFL Draft varies depending on the year. At minimum, there are 224 picks made, since there are 32 NFL teams and each franchise is given a selection in each round. Of course, these picks don't always stay with these organizations, as draft capital regularly switches hands in trades.

In 2023, there will be 259 NFL Draft picks made. Aside from normal selections, teams can also earn compensatory picks for free agents lost or minority front office/coaching talent being hired by other organizations. These comp selections are added onto Rounds 3-7, raising the total picks in each draft and making these sections of the event longer than Rounds 1-2.

Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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