NFL Draft History
1936 - 1994
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A Look Back At Yesteryear

1936-1939     1940-1949

1950-1959     1960-1969

1970-1979     1980-1989


1995     1996     1997     1998     1999

2000     2001     2002     2003     2004

2005     2006     2007     2008     2009

2010     2011     2012     2013     2014

2015     2016     2017     2018     2019

NFL Trading Guide

Mr. Irrelevant

NFL Draft History 1936 - 1994

Procedure and Rules

The NFL Draft began in 1936 as a way to strengthen the league. The current format consists of seven rounds. Each team is assigned a selection in each round, with the team with the worst record from the previous year being assigned the first pick in each round. The team with the second-worst record gets the second pick, and so on. Ties are broken by strength of schedule. In the event that the strength of schedules are equal, a coin is flipped to determine who picks first. For teams that qualified for the playoffs, ties are broken first in the order in which they were eliminated from the postseason. However, the Super Bowl participants make the final two selections, with the team that lost the game picking next to last, and the winner picking last.

The draft currently takes place over two days, with rounds one and two on Day 1 and rounds three through seven on Day 2. These combine for a Saturday and Sunday two day event. Die hard fans who stay through the end of day 2 may receive VIP passes to skip the lines and get preferred seating to the following year's draft.

The first overall pick generally gets the richest contract, but other contracts rely on a number of variables. While they generally are based on the previous year's second overall pick, third overall, etc., each player's position also is taken into account. Quarterbacks, for example, usually command more money than defensive linemen, which can skew those dollar figures slightly.

Each team has its representatives attend the draft. During the draft, one team is always "on the clock." In Round 1, teams have 10 minutes to make their choice. The decision time drops to 7 minutes in the second round and 5 minutes in Rounds 3-7. If a team doesn't make a decision within its allotted time, the team still can submit its selection at any time after its time is up, but the next team can pick before it, thus possibly stealing a player the later team may have been eyeing. This occurred in the 2003 draft, when the Minnesota Vikings, with the 7th overall pick, were late with their selection. The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted QB Byron Leftwich and the Carolina Panthers drafted OT Jordan Gross before the Vikings were able to submit their selection of DT Kevin Williams.

The Draft has been held in New York City since 1965 and has had to move into larger venues as the event has gained in popularity, drawing fans from across the country. The 2006 draft was held at Radio City Music Hall, the first time this venue had hosted the gala. Madison Square Garden had hosted the event for a number of years, but the NFL moved it to the Javits Convention Center in 2005.

Compensatory Picks

In addition to the 32 picks in each round, there are a total of up to 32 picks dispersed at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7. These picks, known as "compensatory picks," are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player's salary, playing time and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.

If fewer than 32 such picks are awarded, the remaining picks are awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical eighth round of the draft.

Compensatory picks are awarded each year at the NFL annual meeting which is held at the end of March; typically, about three or four weeks before the draft.

Info from Wikipedia

Jeff Babcock © 2016 Jeff Babcock