The 2021 NFL Draft will take place April 29-May 1 and will broadcast live on ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network, in addition to many other platforms. This year's draft will be hosted by Cleveland and will be a mix between a typical on-site experience and last year's highly successful virtual presentation. This year's event also will once again feature Draft-a-Thon, a fundraiser intended to drive awareness and action to close critical gaps at the intersection of pandemic recovery that will specifically benefit four national nonprofit organizations that are supporting underserved communities.
Here is the schedule for the 2021 NFL Draft:
- Thurs., April 29: 8-11:30 p.m. ET (Round 1) – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
- Fri., April 30: 7-11:30 p.m. ET (Rounds 2-3) – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
- Sat., May 1: 12-7 p.m. (Rounds 4-7) – ESPN (ABC simulcast), NFL Network
Additionally, the draft will be available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and streamed through several NFL and ESPN digital properties.
On ESPN, Mike Greenberg will host prime-time telecasts in Cleveland on April 29 and 30. He will be joined by draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., along with NFL analysts Louis Riddick and Booger McFarland, NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, and Suzy Kolber, who will interview draftees.
On ABC, Rece Davis will host prime-time broadcasts in Cleveland on April 29 and 30. He will be joined by college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard and draft analyst Todd McShay. The team of Maria Taylor, along with college football analysts Jesse Palmer and David Pollack also will contribute to the broadcasts.
A total of 58 prospects in this year's draft have been confirmed to participate, either on-site in Cleveland or virtually, according to the NFL. Those attending the draft in person, include top quarterback prospects Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones, along with Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. Those expected to participate virtually include expected No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. All told, 42 of Athlon Sports' top 50 prospects in this year's draft are expected to take part.
Following the success of last year's event, the NFL is once agains host "Draft-A-Thon," a collborative effort to support ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic relief efforts. Draft-a-Thon will bring awareness and raise funds for national nonprofit organizations supporting key issues that impact underserved communities: health disparities, bridging the digital divide, bringing awareness to the importance of mental health, and helping to solve food insecurity. The event will be live streamed on NFL social and digital platforms and featured during the draft telecasts.
For more information or to make a donation, visit nfl.com/DraftaThon. The four non-profit organizations that are the focus of this year's Draft-A-Thon are the CDC Foundation, The Education Trust, Feeding America, and Mental Health America.
(Top graphic courtesy of espnpressroom.com)