When the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off in Cleveland in two weeks, 32 teams will have an opportunity to change the future of their franchise.
With this year’s class featuring some of the most talented quarterback prospects in recent memory and a deep pool of wide receivers, the next Patrick Mahomes or DeAndre Hopkins could be sitting in the green room on April 29.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock and expected to draft Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall. Here is everything else you need to know ahead of the draft:
When is the 2021 NFL Draft?
The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 29, when all 32 selections in Round 1 will be made. Rounds 2 and 3 take place on Friday, April 30, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and Rounds 4 through 7 will be on Saturday, May 1, beginning at 12 p.m. ET.
What is the 2021 NFL Draft order?
After the 2021 NFL Draft order was finalized in mid-March, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 overall pick. The Miami Dolphins then traded the No. 12 pick they got from San Francisco to the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth overall pick. More trades could shake up the order before the draft begins, but here’s how it stands as of now:
Will this year’s draft be in person or virtual?
After the NFL held a virtual draft in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s draft will be held in person in Cleveland. Some of the top prospects will be there to take the stage when they’re selected, while others will appear from their homes. Lawrence declined an invitation to Cleveland and will watch the draft at Clemson.
Can fans attend the 2021 NFL draft?
Yes, fans are allowed to attend this year. A select group of fans who are vaccinated will be chosen by each of the 32 NFL teams and will be seated in the "inner circle" near the main stage. The league’s main website has more information on NFL Draft tickets and events.
How can I watch the 2021 NFL Draft?
The draft will be broadcast live on the NFL Network, ESPN and ABC on all three days.
How many draft picks does Washington have in 2021?
The Washington Football Team will come into the 2021 NFL Draft with eight selections after it was not awarded any compensatory picks.
Still, Washington’s trade that sent Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers landed WFT the No. 74 pick in the third round in this year's draft.
Washington will also be without its sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, as it traded it to the Las Vegas Raiders for David Sharpe and a seventh-round pick (No. 244) back in September.
After winning the NFC East and making the playoffs last season, Washington’s first pick will come at No. 19.
Here is a list of all the Football Team’s 2021 draft picks:
- First round: No. 19 (own pick)
- Second round: No. 51 (own pick)
- Third round: No. 74 (via 49ers)
- Third round: No. 82 (own pick)
- Fourth round: No. 124 (own pick)
- Fifth round: No. 163 (own pick)
- Seventh round: No. 244 (via Raiders)
- Seventh round: No. 246 (own pick)
What are the Washington's biggest needs?
However, the Football Team was able to secure veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency and brought him a few new weapons in former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel and former Tennessee Titans wideout Adam Humphries.
Fitzpatrick isn’t a long-term fix, but his signing could delay Washington from drafting a quarterback this season unless a player that it covets falls in the draft.
Washington’s 5,076 yards of total offense in 2020 were the third-lowest total in the league, but the offense should improve in 2021. Still, the team could use some help on the offensive line, as it has yet to find a replacement for Trent Williams at left tackle.
On the defensive side of the ball, Washington could spend a selection to upgrade at linebacker to help bolster its group around Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic.
While Washington replaced Ronald Darby in free agency by signing cornerback William Jackson III, it could still add some depth in the secondary as well.
Safety Landon Collins, who tore his Achilles last season, isn’t guaranteed to be the same player next season, and Washington’s depth behind Jackson III and Kendall Fuller is suspect at best.
Washington’s draft needs: LB, OT, CB, QB
Peter Dewey contributed to this story