NFL Releases Details of Live Draft
26 Apr, 2021
The NFL holds an in-person draft in Cleveland this year - unlike 2020 when the commissioner announced selections from the comfort of his own home.
Plans have now been unveiled to stage the 2021 NFL Draft across three locations in Cleveland - FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns NFL franchise, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.
Dozens of players expected to be early selections will be invited to attend the draft, as was usual practice before the pandemic, and are set to join Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage when selected.
Lake Erie is to be used as the backdrop for pick announcements. A viewing area dubbed the Draft Theatre is to be set up overlooking the stage, with vaccinated fans able to watch proceedings.
Each of the NFL's 32 teams will be asked to nominate fans to serve as ambassadors, and the league says they must be vaccinated to underscore the importance of inoculating against COVID-19.
Team officials will be able to gather in-person for the draft as well - a year ago they too were stuck at home because of the health crisis.
The NFL Draft Experience, an interactive American football theme park, will also be set up in Cleveland, although admission must be booked in advance to ensure overcrowding does not occur.
"Just months after executing a safe and successful Super Bowl LV, we look forward to bringing the excitement of our Draft traditions to fans in collaboration with the Browns, Destination Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the City of Cleveland, and all of our local Cleveland partners," said NFL executive vice-president Peter O'Reilly.
The NFL Draft is due to begin on April 29, with the seven rounds concluding on May 1.