2020 NFL Draft: How Long Does Each Team Have to Make a Pick?

Here's how long your favorite team will be on the clock during this year's virtual draft

The 2020 NFL Draft will take place April 23-25 and while this draft will be unique for its format, one thing hasn't changed — the time teams will have to make their picks when they are on the clock.


The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the NFL canceling its plans to have the draft in Las Vegas and instead will proceed with a virtual draft with all teams and prospects adhering to proper social distancing guidelines. ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network are partnering together for a singular broadcast presentation of the draft, which also will be streamed live across their digital properties. The draft broadcast also will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefitting six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. Joint coverage of the first round will start at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.


As for the draft itself, 255 picks will be made over seven rounds from Thursday-Saturday. Even with the unusual circumstances surrounding this year's draft, the amount of time each team will have when they go on the clock to make their pick has not changed.

  • Round 1: 10 minutes per selection
  • Round 2: 7 minutes per selection
  • Rounds 3-6, including compensatory picks: 5 minutes per selection
  • Round 7, including compensatory picks: 4 minutes per selection

The NFL has said the clock will be paused should a team experience a technical glitch. A test draft took place on Monday in which teams participated in a two-round practice session. There were some sessions with the trial run, but the hope is that everything will run smoothly and according to plan when the real thing starts on Thursday night.


As this will be a new experience for everyone, it will be interesting to see if the change in the format results in a decrease or increase in trades during the draft, especially since the time allotted for each team to make a pick hasn't changed. Then again, Cincinnati has been on the clock since late December so the Bengals shouldn't need their full 10 minutes when commissioner Roger Goodell signals the start of the draft on Thursday night.


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