The 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday at 8 p.m., and unlike last year, it won’t be held in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s basement.
The draft itself will take place in Cleveland, but the league has adopted a hybrid approach due to the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Thirteen prospects will be in attendance in Cleveland, and Goodell has announced he’s been fully vaccinated, so expect a “bro hug” or two on stage.
The Eagles and every other NFL team will be allowed back into their draft rooms this year, which means we likely won’t get any more viral moments from Bill Belichick’s dog, Nike.
Despite having selected Jalen Reagor with last year’s No. 21 pick, all signs point to the Eagles selecting another wide receiver with the No. 12 pick to pair with likely starter Jalen Hurts. Both Jeff McLane and EJ Smith think the team will take Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, while Paul Domowitch predicts the Eagles will pick Smith’s Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle. Les Bowen thinks the team will focus on defense and select South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
During the first round, each team has 10 minutes to make its pick, but some teams might be granted extra time if their remote equipment malfunctions while they’re on the clock. If the Birds still have the No. 12 pick, you can expect the Eagles to be on the clock for their selection around 9:40 p.m., based on the pace of the last few years of the draft.
For the third-straight year, ABC will offer its own telecast, which is intended for casual fans and will focus more on the journey the prospects and their families have taken to reach the NFL. But after sharing coverage last year, the NFL Network will return to airing the draft with its own team of experts, hosted by Rich Eisen.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch and stream this year’s NFL draft:
What time does the NFL draft begin?
The 2021 NFL draft is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern and run through 11:30 p.m. In addition to airing on ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network, the draft will also stream on the ABC app, the ESPN app, the NFL app, and on NFL.com (cable authentication is required).
Here’s how television networks are planning to cover tonight’s NFL draft.
Hosts Rece Davis and Maria Taylor will spearhead ABC’s coverage, joined by analysts Todd McShay, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack.
Mike Greenberg, the host of Get Up!, will anchor his first NFL Draft for ESPN. Joining Greenberg will be ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Louis Riddick, and Booger McFarland. NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will provide updates, and NFL host Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews with draft picks.
Greenberg replaces Trey Wingo, who had hosted the draft for ESPN since 2017 but left the company in December after his contract wasn’t renewed. Wingo will spend the night hosting a draft party for Fox Sports on their digital and social platforms.
After teaming up with ESPN to cover last year’s draft the NFL Network returns with their own broadcast, hosted by Rich Eisen. Joining Eisen will be analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, and Kurt Warner. Also offering insights will be Stanford head coach Davis Shaw and FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport will provide updates, and Melissa stark will interview draft picks.
For the third-straight season, ESPN Deportes will cover every round of the NFL draft in Spanish. The network’s broadcast will feature Monday Night Football announcers Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega, among others.
2021 NFL draft: First-round draft order
Two highly touted quarterbacks are expect to go back-to-back at the top of this year’s draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, while the New York Jets appear to have set their sights on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson.
Here’s how the top 32 picks break down heading into the first round of the draft:
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers (via trade)
Miami Dolphins (via trade)
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles (via trade)
Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots
Las Vegas Raiders
Washington Football Team
New York Jets (via trade)
Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade)
New Orleans Saints
Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers