2012 NFL Draft Information

NFL Draft in a Nutshell

The NFL Draft has taken place since 1936 and has steadily become one of the most hyped events during the NFL offseason. The NFL Drat is an annual event which takes place every year at the end of April. Each of the 32 National Football League teams selects from the top eligible college football players in the nation.

Full NFL Draft Dictionary

Tickets to the NFL Draft are free and made available to fans on a first-come first-served basis. The tickets are distributed at the box office the morning of the draft, one ticket per person. Long waits are not out of the ordinary as many fans pile in to see who their favorite team is going to select. Fans must arrive very early in order to get a chance to attend the draft.

The draft order is determined by first generating the order for the first round. That order is based generally on each team’s regular season record, with the exception of the two Super Bowl contestants, who are placed at the end of the draft order.

Barring any expansion teams entering the league, the first overall draft pick goes to the team with the worst record in the previous season.

NFL Mock Draft Database

NFL Draft Compensatory picks

In addition to the 32 picks in each round, there are a total of 32 picks awarded at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7. These picks, known as “compensatory picks,” are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player’s salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.

If fewer than 32 such picks are awarded, the remaining picks are awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical eighth round of the draft (These are known as “supplemental compensatory selections”).

Compensatory picks are awarded each year at the NFL annual meeting which is held at the end of March; typically, about three or four weeks before the draft.

Supplemental NFL Draft

Since 1977, the NFL has also held a Supplemental Draft to accommodate players who did not enter the regular draft. Players generally enter the Supplementary Draft because they missed the filing deadline for the NFL Draft or because issues developed which affected their eligibility (such as athletic or disciplinary matters). The draft is scheduled to occur at some point after the regular draft and before the start of the next season. In 2009, the Supplemental Draft occurred on July 16. In 1984 the NFL held an additional draft for players who were under contract with either USFL or CFL teams

Draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. In the supplemental draft, a team is not required to use any picks. Instead, if a team wants a player in the supplemental draft, they submit a “bid” to the Commissioner with the round they would pick that player. If no other team places a bid on that player at an earlier spot, the team is awarded the player and has to give up an equivalent pick in the following year’s draft.