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How to watch 2021 NFL Draft

All the information you’ll need to catch the NFL draft starting Thursday night.

NFL: APR 26 2018 NFL Draft Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 NFL draft starts this week. The Bengals will be picking fifth overall, so it is likely going to be a very important draft for Cincinnati.

There is more to the draft than the first round, though. So even after the Bengals finally make their choice early in the first round, that really is just the beginning for a team looking to take some major steps in 2021.

Over the past few seasons there have been some serious changes to how the draft operates, and more importantly when it operates as the NFL has tried to make this more of a prime time event.

Here are some quick reminders for when each night of the draft starts and what picks the Bengals have on that night:

Day 1, Round 1: Thursday, April 29th (8:00 P.M. EST)

Bengals will have fifth overall selection

Day 2, Rounds 2 and 3: Friday, April 30th (7:00 P.M. EST

Bengals will have the 38th and 69th overall selections

Day 3, Rounds 4-7: Saturday, May 1st (12:00 P.M. EST)

Bengals will have the 111th, 149th, 190th, 202nd and 235th selections

What channels and streaming services you can use:

Thursday, April 29 Round 1

  • Start time: 8 P.M. EST
  • TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
  • Stream: NFL app and ESPN app
  • NFL Draft Order

Friday, April 30 Rounds 2 and 3

  • Start time: 7 P.M. EST
  • TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
  • Stream: NFL app and ESPN app

Saturday, May 1 Rounds 4-7

  • Start time: 12 P.M. EST
  • TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
  • Stream: NFL app and ESPN app

General reminders

The draft can be complicated, especially once you get out of the first round. Things will start to move quickly, so it is best to keep some of these things in minds.

  • Time for selection: The amount of time team’s have to pick changes by the round. The NFL allots teams 10 minutes per pick in Round 1, which can really make the night drag quite a bit especially for folks who have to work in the morning. That gets more manageable on Day 2 when it is cutdown for seven minutes in Round 2 and then five minutes from Round 3-6. They really start the running clock in Round 7 with just four minutes.
  • Trades, trades and even more trades: The Bengals are in a spot at No. 5 where they could move back while still being able to select one of the top players in the draft. Even if they don’t there, it is possible, if not expected, that Cincinnati or other teams will be moving up and down the board during the draft. All of the picks above are subject to change up until the moment a player is actually selected. The Bengals historically rarely move up in the draft, so it is much more likely we see them move back and get some extra picks.
  • Back to in-person: Last year at nearly the beginning of the pandemic, the NFL made the decision to essentially do the draft from home. The NFL will be going back to each team having representatives in the host city, this year it is Cleveland, who will turn in the picks. There will even be players attending the draft again as well.

How much of the draft do you plan to watch this year?