How to watch NFL Draft 2021: UK start time, first-round pick order and top prospects

Olly Dawes April 26, 2021
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

How to watch NFL Draft 2021: UK start time. It’s draft time in the NFL once more so let’s look at what time you need to set your alarm if you’re an American football fan living in the UK.

We’re almost three months on from the Super Bowl in which Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Kansas City Chiefs.

No matter how your team performed last season, the draft offers hope for all supporters. One of the players picked this year could change the fortunes of a franchise, just like quarterback Patrick Mahomes has for the Chiefs.

After the pandemic forced a virtual draft last year, we’re back to the big time in 2021, with Cleveland hosting the selections.

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Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the picks from the NFL Draft Main Stage near Lake Erie. The show will also include visits to the FirstEnergy Stadium – home of the Cleveland Browns – the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.

You’ll even get to watch a pre-show concert from Kings Of Leon, with the NFL keen to make up for the lack of pageantry last year.

Obviously everything is tailored to US fans, so how can you get involved as a fan in the UK? We’ve got all the information you need…

How to watch NFL Draft 2021: UK start time

The 2021 NFL Draft will officially begin at 1am on Friday, 30 April UK time. The first round is likely to run until about 4.30am if previous years are anything to go by.

Night two will begin at midnight on Saturday, 1 May for UK fans. This will see rounds two and three take place, with picks coming in at a much quicker pace.

Rest up because day three of the draft kicks off at 5pm on Saturday, 1 May for fans watching in the UK. Rounds four, five, six and seven will be conducted here, meaning you should be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

How can I watch the NFL Draft in the UK?

Sky Sports is screening the entire draft and begins its coverage at 8pm on Thursday, 29 April with a Live Draft Preview on Sky Sports Action. The Red Carpet show will begin at 11pm on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event.

Both channels will then show the Live NFL Draft Kickoff before the selections begin at 1am. Sky’s coverage of the draft selection will be provided by the NFL Network.

If you don’t have Sky Sports, you can buy a Now TV day pass to watch the action for £9.99.

Alternatively, you can purchase the NFL GamePass, although you should note the free option doesn’t include live coverage of the draft.

How does the NFL Draft work and who has first pick?

The draft is the NFL’s annual player selection process in which seniors or declared underclassmen from the college system are available for selection by NFL teams.

This year, Jacksonville Jaguars hold the number-one pick having finished with the worst record in the 2020 NFL season, winning only once in 16 games.

The team with the worst record is given the first pick in each round all the way down to the team that won the Super Bowl – in this case Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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New York Jets hold the second pick this year but the San Francisco 49ers have already made headlines by trading up to take the Miami Dolphins’ pick at number three.

Picks can be traded at any time, either for other draft picks or established NFL players.

For instance, the Chiefs have just traded their first-round pick for Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Brown, whereas the 49ers’ trade with the Dolphins saw them give up numerous picks in the future to move up nine spaces in this year’s draft.

Full first-round pick order

1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. New York Jets
3. San Francisco 49ers (traded by Miami Dolphins, via Houston Texans)
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Miami Dolphins (traded by Philadelphia Eagles)
7. Detroit Lions
8. Carolina Panthers
9. Denver Broncos
10. Dallas Cowboys
11. New York Giants
12. Philadelphia Eagles (traded by Miami Dolphins, via San Francisco 49ers)
13. Los Angeles Chargers
14. Minnesota Vikings
15. New England Patriots
16. Arizona Cardinals
17. Las Vegas Raiders
18. Miami Dolphins
19. Washington Football Team
20. Chicago Bears
21. Indianapolis Colts
22. Tennessee Titans
23. New York Jets (traded by Seattle Seahawks)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (traded by Los Angeles Rams)
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Baltimore Ravens
28. New Orleans Saints
29. Green Bay Packers
30. Buffalo Bills
31. Baltimore Ravens (traded by Kansas City Chiefs)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Who are the top prospects available in the draft?

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the unanimous pick to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first overall selection. Lawrence is being touted as the best quarterback prospect coming out of college since Andrew Luck left Stanford for the NFL in 2012.

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Lawrence won’t be the only quarterback drafted in the top ten. Brigham Young’s Zach Wilson is expected to be picked by the Jets at two, while the 49ers could go with Alabama’s Mac Jones, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota’s Trey Lance. All five are quality quarterbacks, offering rare depth at the position inside the first half of the draft.

Away from quarterbacks, Oregon left-tackle Penei Sewell looks set to be a top ten selection, with the same going for LSU wide-receiver Ja’Marr Chase – even though both players opted out of the 2020 college season because of concerns over the pandemic.

Photo by Alexis Greaves/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Florida tight-end Kyle Pitts is almost nailed-on for a top ten selection having wowed everybody with his athleticism and receiving ability.

Alabama quartet Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Patrick Surtain II and Christian Barmore are all expected to go in the first round as the Crimson Tide’s conveyor belt of talent continues.

Olly is an experienced football journalist. He spends his time tweeting about football, NFL, video games, FPL, and wrestling.