HOW THE 77TH NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ENTRY DRAFT WORKS:
WHEN: Thursday from 8 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m. EDT (Round 1); Friday from 7 p.m. to about 11:15 p.m. EDT (Rounds 2-3); Saturday from noon to about 7:30 p.m. EDT (Rounds 4-7).
HERE: Radio City Music Hall, New York City.
TV: NFL Network is covering all three rounds, live, in their entirety. TSN2 is taking ESPN's live feed on Thursday and Friday nights only.
DRAFT ORDER: It was determined in February, based on reverse order of 2011 success. Applies to each of the seven rounds, traded picks notwithstanding. The league-worst Colts pick first, the Super Bowl champion Giants pick last. Coin flips were used to break ties between the Dolphins and Panthers at 8/9, and Chiefs and Seahawks at 11/12 — in that order.
NUMBER OF PICKS: 253.
COMPENSATORY PICKS: In addition to the reverse-order 32 picks per round, the league awards "compensatory" picks to teams that "suffered a net loss of certain quality unrestricted free agents last year." This year the league awarded 32 such selections, to 15 clubs. Compensatory picks are added at the end of the chosen round. For instance, Oakland is the only the team that got a compensatory pick in the first three rounds — No. 33 at the end of Round 3. The NFL uses an undisclosed formula to determine which teams get compensatory picks, and in what rounds. Teams cannot trade these picks.
PHONE IT IN: Reps from each of the 32 NFL teams are at Radio City Music Hall, and are in telephone communication with their respective team's GM, coaches and other talent evaluators back at team headquarters. These reps relay their teams' picks to the NFL.
PLAYERS IN ATTENDANCE: A record 26 players with first-round buzz accepted the NFL's invitation to be present Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, for the hat-and-jersey photo op with commissioner Roger Goodell upon being selected. That's presuming all 26 get selected on Day 1.
ON THE CLOCK: Teams have 10 minutes to make a pick in the first round, seven minutes in Round 2, and just five minutes in Rounds 3-7.
UNDRAFTED PLAYERS: They can sign with any team immediately after the 253rd and final pick is made on Saturday night. Clubs last week were reportedly already jockeying to do just that with some lowly regarded prospects that had caught their eye.
FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER
(starts Thursday, 8 pm EDT)
2. Washington (from St. Louis)
5. Tampa Bay
6. St. Louis (from Washington)
11. Kansas City
16. New York Jets
17. Cincinnati (from Oakland)
18. San Diego
22. Cleveland (from Atlanta)
27. New England (from New Orleans)
28. Green Bay
30. San Francisco
31. New England
32. New York Giants