Students discuss 2021 NFL draft


Elly Green, Reporter

The first mentions of a draft in the NFL (National Football League) were in 1934 when it was suddenly decided that teams would be allowed to pick available players. The Philadelphia Eagles and other teams felt that they had a disadvantage in signing top players due to lack of resources so during a 1935 league meeting a unanimous vote decided for an inaugural draft in 1936, according to Football Operations

The first draft was a much smaller spectacle than we see now in 2021. Held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel team executives chose their selections from a pool of about 90 players, which were “scouted” from reading newspaper articles, watching college football and recommendations by higher ups, according to Football Operations. Now, even with the recent downfalls in large activities due to COVID-19, around 3,500 players attended the draft which was held in Cleveland, Ohio this year. 

“The biggest changes I saw in the televised draft this year was definitely the COVID guidelines at the venue,” junior Jonah Remsberg said. 

Media coverage is a huge part of not only NFL draft day but the entire NFL season. The first draft day had absolutely no media coverage, but now approximately 50,000 fans stand outside of Cleveland’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame cheering on their favorite teams, according to Yahoo Sports. Not to mention the 12.6 million viewers who watch at home. However, only 8.3 million people tune in to all three days of the drafts while 55 million people watch the first day. 

“I only followed the first round of drafts but that was about it,” Remsberg said. 

Opinions about the first picks of the draft started flooding in on social media and other outlets almost immediately after decisions were made. Among the favorites were Justin Fields for the Chicago Bears, Rashawn Slater for the Los Angeles Chargers, Christian Darrisaw for the Minnesota Vikings and Greg Newsome for the Cleveland Browns according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). 

“I’m surprised that Justin Fields didn’t get picked up earlier,” Remsberg said. “He seemed to be a breakout player this year and there are some teams that could have used him.” 

Even draft pick players who were not noticed on the favorite boards for PFF still receive attention from fans and typically a profile on the PFF website. For example, Kadarius Toney, a football player from the University of Florida is described as one of the most exciting players in the draft, according to PFF. This player, among many others, have caught the eye of not only NFL teams, but football fanatics. 

“I think that Kadarius Toney will be someone to look for in the season he will be [with] the Giants,” Remsberg said. “Trevor Lawrence will do well in the Jaguars and Ja’Marr Chase should do well at the Bengals especially since him and Joe [Burrow] already have a connection from college.” 

Overall, Americans just can not get enough of football, according to Fox Sports, and draft day is just the beginning of the season-long obsession of the NFL

Football just makes me happy,” junior Luke Hirsh said. “My favorite thing about football is the culture and the environment of the sport.”