The National Football League Draft, also called the player selection meeting, is an annual event in which the National Football League (NFL) teams select eligible college football players. It serves as the league’s most common source of player recruitment.
The basic design of the draft is that each team is given a position in the drafting order in reverse order relative to its record in the previous year, which means that the last place team is positioned first. From this position, the team can either select a player or trade their position to another team for other draft positions, a player or players, or any combination thereof.
After each team has utilized its position in the drafting order, whether by trading it or selecting a player, a round would be complete.
Certain aspects of the draft, including team positioning and the number of rounds in the draft, have seen revisions since its first creation in 1936, but the fundamental methodology has remained the same.
Currently the draft consists of seven rounds. The original rationale in creating the draft was to increase the competitive parity between the teams as the worst team would, ideally, have chosen the best player available.
In the early years of the draft, players were chosen based on hearsay, print media, or other rudimentary evidence of a player’s ability. In the 1940s, some franchises began employing full-time scouts. The ensuing success of their corresponding teams eventually forced the other franchises to also hire scouts..
The location of the draft has continually changed over the years to accommodate more fans, as the event has gained in popularity. The draft’s popularity now garners prime-time television coverage.