NFL Draft 2011: How the Lockout Will Affect Draft Day Trades

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NFL Draft 2011: How the Lockout Will Affect Draft Day Trades
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2011 NFL Draft is fast approaching, but there's no end in sight for the current labor dispute. NFL fans will have to wait at least "a couple weeks" before anything is resolved, forcing me to assume the draft will take place without a new collective bargaining agreement in place.

The draft will still take place, but a few changes are worth noting.

The first round will start Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. eastern time.

The second and third rounds will follow Friday night, starting at 6 p.m.eastern time.

On Saturday starting at noon eastern time, the fourth through seventh rounds will take place.

Perhaps most interesting, however, will be the trade rules that will make this draft especially unique.

Unlike previous drafts, when teams were allowed to trade players, past and future picks, the 2011 NFL draft will only allow teams to trade picks they haven't yet made.

For example, teams cannot trade a player once they've been drafted, such as the case in 2004 when the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants swapped Eli Manning for Philip Rivers.

Teams will only be allowed to trade draft picks they have yet to make, including upcoming 2011 picks, as well as picks in 2012 and beyond. However, the league is advising teams that any trades involving future picks should be made at their own risk.

Despite rumors that top collegiate athletes would not attend the draft, Iowa linebacker Adrian Clayborn and Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones are among those who will be in attendance on April 28.

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