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2023 NFL Draft: Date, time, how to watch, and more

The National Football League has conducted a player selection meeting, most commonly referred to as the NFL Draft, every year since 1936. Over the years, this event has morphed into a highly publicized three-day television event, with millions of football enthusiasts spending months debating and dreaming about the incoming class of college prospects.

From discussing team needs, assessing scouting reports, spreading draft rumors, or even simulating mock drafts, there really is no end to the speculation. People love thinking, preparing, and eventually, watching the NFL Draft each and every year.

Since it is such a highly scrutinized event, with millions tuning in or attending the NFL Draft in person each year, there are always questions that need answering. Below we detail when the 2023 NFL Draft is, where the event is hosted, and how to watch the TV drama.

Related: 2023 NFL mock draft: Texans trade down with Las Vegas Raiders, Rounds 1-3 projections

What is the NFL Draft?

NFL: NFL Draft
Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft takes place every year. It’s a process that includes year-round scouting of college athletes. Eventually, this includes specific drills and tests, measuring a player’s football IQ, athleticism, and strength while evaluating their ability to play pro football.

Once the NFL Draft arrives, all 32 teams are given a chance to draft college athletes who are at least three years removed from high school and have entered their names in the NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft provides teams with the best opportunity to add talent to the roster. As NFL GMs agree, the idea is to build a roster through the draft, ideally identifying young impact players who come in on a rookie salary at a much lower rate than star players make.

How is the NFL draft order determined?

One of the biggest factors to keep in mind about the NFL Draft is how the selection order is determined. Luckily, the NFL keeps it simple.

The team with the worst record picks first, and the team who wins the Super Bowl picks last in the first round of the draft. Since there are 32 teams, the first round typically consists of 32 picks.

Yet, some rare instances exist when an organization is penalized and stripped of its first-round selection. This most recently happened to the Miami Dolphins in 2023 for tampering with Tom Brady when he was under contract with another NFL team.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order: Picks by team, Rounds 1-7 and compensatory picks

What are compensatory picks, and can they be traded?

Compensatory draft picks are determined by a complicated formula that factors in how many players are lost in free agency while considering how valuable these players were.

A team that loses several of their own high-profile players to other teams in free agency may be in line to receive as high as a third-round compensatory pick. Compensatory picks can be as early as the third round and as late as the seventh round.

Yes, as of 2016, compensatory picks can now be traded.

Related: NFL compensatory picks announced: What they mean and how they’re awarded

When is the 2023 NFL Draft?

The month of the draft never changes, it’s always in late April, but the date fluctuates from year to year, as the league always begins the event on a Thursday and ends on a Saturday. Yes, it is a three-day event.

The 2023 NFL Draft starts on April 27 and ends on April 29. The first day begins at 8 PM ET and will feature 31 picks or the entire first round.

The second day of the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Friday, April 28, at 7 PM ET, with Rounds 2 & 3. The third and final day of the 2023 NFL Draft occurs on Saturday, April 29, at 12 PM ET, with Rounds 4-7.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Best players in 2023 draft class, top prospects by position

How to watch the 2023 NFL Draft

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are several ways to watch the 2023 NFL Draft. All three days of the event are televised on multiple networks.

Viewers may tune into NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, or ESPN Deportes for their draft coverage.

Where is the 2023 NFL Draft being hosted?

Each year the NFL Draft host site changes locations, giving different football communities a chance to host the action-packed event. This gives fans a chance to see the draft in person, celebrating with a collection of other like-minded members of their hive as picks are announced, leading to several cheers and loud boos.

The 2023 NFL Draft will take place in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is the first time Kansas City has hosted the annual event, but it couldn’t come in a better year, with the Chiefs emerging as Super Bowl champions.

Related: 2023 NFL Power Rankings

How many selections are in the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft has seven rounds, and the number of picks changes each year. This is due to the NFL’s compensatory pick formula fluctuating how many extra selections each team may or may not receive.

In 2023, the NFL Draft features 259 picks. We’ve seen as many as 487 players selected in a single year, which came in 1976. Usually, we see about 250-260 players have their names called during the three-day event.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order: Picks by team, location and dates for 2024 NFL Draft

Who is Mr. Irrelevant?

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This odd title is assigned to the last player selected in each NFL Draft. The nickname began back in 1976 with Kelvin Kirk, who was the latest draft pick in NFL history at No. 487.

The Mr. Irrelevant phenomenon has grown over the years to include an “Irrelevant Week,” which was started by former USC and NFL receiver Paul Salata, who would invite the final player drafted to spend a week in Newport Beach, California, which also includes a trip to Disneyland and a golf tournament.

In 2022, rookie Brock Purdy went from Mr. Irrelevant to the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback, helping them reach the NFC Conference Championship game. While the nickname suggests the player doesn’t matter, athletes like Purdy have shown over the years that even Mr. Irrelevant can become contributors on gameday.

Related: NFL QB Rankings