It is weird to say, but the NFL hasn’t had a live NFL Draft since 2019. Not that two years ago is a ridiculous amount of time, but the 2020 virtual draft was more than different. Many fans didn’t know what to expect for the 2021 NFL Draft. It was scheduled to be live in Cleveland, OH, and after the league decided to cancel the NFL Scouting Combine it didn’t look good for the draft.
Nonetheless, the NFL announced they were going to have the draft live, and with fans in attendance, so it looks as if the virtual draft was a one year blip on the radar. The draft is just weeks away, and that means specific prospective players are accepting invitations to be at the draft live for when their name is called.
The list of players who have accepted invites as it currently stands:
- Alabama DT Christian Barmore
- LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
- Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
- Alabama QB Mac Jones
- North Dakota State QB Trey Lance
- Penn State LB Micah Parsons
- Florida TE Kyle Pitts
- Alabama WR DeVonta Smith
- Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II
- Miami DE Gregory Rousseau
This from the NFL’s official website:
The 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 29 with the first round (8 p.m. ET), followed by Rounds 2-3 on Friday (7 p.m. ET) and finishing with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday May 1 (12 p.m. ET). Tune in to NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes for live coverage on each day. Construction on the main stage along Cleveland’s waterfront has already begun, near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Some of the best aspects of last year’s unique virtual draft will be implemented into the television broadcast, including the participation of draft prospects from their homes.
The upcoming draft seems to be more normal than most had expected, and the hope is this is just the beginning of NFL stadiums having fans in attendance for all of the now 17-game regular season.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the rest of NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.