NFL Draft Start Time 2017: Full Day-by-Day TV Schedule and Live-Stream Coverage

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2017

Workers make preparations ahead of the 2017 NFL football draft on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Rejoice, football fans! The 2017 NFL draft is almost here to break up the monotony of the offseason and to provide us with one weekend of meaningful football excitement—and excitement is what the draft is all about.

The NFL draft has blossomed over the past few years into a three-day event, with the first two nights coming in prime time. The annual selection process is now as much about the fans and the pageantry as it is about teams actually picking prospects.

Of course, for die-hard fans, that influx of fresh talent is still what's really important about the draft.

Do you want to follow along with all the action and excitement of draft weekend? Well, we're here with everything you need to know about the draft—including times, television coverage and live-stream information.

2017 NFL Draft

Draft Schedule
Day, Start Time (ET)RoundsNational TVLive Stream
Thur. 4/27, 8 p.m.1ESPN and NFL NetworkWatchESPN and NFL.com
Fri. 4/28, 7 p.m.2-3ESPN/ESPN 2* and NFL NetworkWatchESPN and NFL.com
Sat. 4/29, 12 p.m.4-7ESPN and NFL NetworkWatchESPN and NFL.com
*Coverage will switch to ESPN 2 at 8 p.m.

Tidbits to Know

Outdoors in Philly

Matt Rourke/Associated Press/Associated Press

The NFL draft is making its second stop outside New York since the league decided to put the event on the road. This year, the draft will be held in Philadelphia in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

That's right, for the first time ever, the draft will be held entirely outdoors.

As was largely the case in Chicago the last two drafts, much of the event is going to pay homage to the city in which the draft is being held. Philadelphia has a long and rich sports history, and the NFL is going to ensure the city's flavor shines through.

ESPN's Trey Wingo recently explained, per Dan Levy of BillyPenn.com:

The star of the show is the draft, there’s no question about that. But all of our in-bumps and out-bumps and all of the things we’ve done leading up to the draft on all our coverage has been shots of Philadelphia — you know, the Rocky statue, the Art Museum, the Liberty Bell. Philly will be a theme of everything that we do, but it will be ‘we’re in Philly for the draft,’ it’s not going to be, ‘the draft is in Philly.’

Highlighting the city of Philadelphia is important for the NFL as it helps set this draft apart from the Chicago drafts and the many, many drafts in New York before them.

The last time the NFL draft was held in Philadelphia was in 1961.

21 Prospects to Attend the Draft

Part of the fun of the opening round of the draft is seeing the prospects (and their fancy duds) before, during and after their selections. This year, there will be 21 players attending the draft.

Part of the drama, of course, is watching players who don't go as early as anticipated as they uncomfortably deal with their draft slides.

"It's embarrassing," Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers explained, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. "You know the whole world is watching, your phone's buzzing every two minutes and you're hoping it's a team calling. But it's just your buddies just making jokes, and it's hard to laugh in a situation where you know everybody's laughing at you."

Rodgers was expected to be one of the top picks in the 2005 draft but wasn't selected until pick No. 24.

However, former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson—one of the 21 players attending the draft—isn't worried about potentially going through what Rodgers once did.

Watson was recently a guest on the Dan Patrick Show and was asked if he was nervous about potentially sliding in the draft with the cameras on him. 

"Not at all," Watson replied. "My dream has always been that green room, and this is my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I'm going to take advantage of it and go."

The full list of players who will attend the draft are as follows:

Players to Attend 2017 Draft
S Jamal Adams, LSUDT Malik McDowell, Michigan State
DT Jonathan Allen, AlabamaLB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
CB Chidobe Awuzie, ColoradoOT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
DE Derek Barnett, TennesseeLB Haason Reddick, Temple
OT Garrett Bolles, UtahOT Cam Robinson, Alabama
WR Corey Davis, Western MichiganWR John Ross, Washington
RB Leonard Fournette, LSUDE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
CB Adoree’ Jackson, USCQB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
CB Kevin King, WashingtonQB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
QB DeShone Kizer, Notre DameCB Tre’Davious White, LSU
CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

There were initially 22 players slated to attend the draft this year, but former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley—who was recently accused of a sexual assault—has decided not to attend:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Source: #OhioSt CB Gareon Conley has decided not to be in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft.

While Conley has not yet been formally charged or arrested in relation to the accusation, it's unlikely the story will be resolved before Thursday night.

The No. 1 Pick is Still Unclear

While we know who will be attending the draft, we don't know who will be picked at the start of it. This makes the draft a bit more intriguing at the top than in years past when the top pick was widely known ahead of time.

The Cleveland Browns currently hold the No. 1 pick, and they still aren't sure who they'll take with it. At least, this is the buzz according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Continue to hear Browns coaches all-in on Garrett but front office more Trubisky in later stages of process and owner badly wants a QB...

Former Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett is generally believed to be the best player in this draft class. However, former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky would potentially fill the Browns' biggest roster hole—one that has existed since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999.

Therefore, there is reason to believe the Browns really are struggling with their decision at the top of the draft and that this isn't just some pre-draft smoke.

Of course, this could also be smoke, as much of what we hear leading up to the draft turns out to be. A lot more will become clearer, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday night.

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