2021 NFL Draft to Host 'Select' Prospects, Fans and Media in Cleveland

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during the NFL football owners meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla. Goodell won’t be sharing hugs with Joe Burrow or Chase Young or any of the other 32 first-rounders in the 2020 NFL Draft. He will offer congratulations remotely but otherwise this will be the barest of drafts. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The 2021 NFL draft will be held in various locations across Cleveland from April 29-May 1, the league announced Monday.

After the 2020 draft was completely virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's version will have in-person announcements, with select prospects taking the stage.

Fans will also be allowed to attend if selected as part of an "Inner Circle" for each organization, but they must be fully vaccinated.

The NFL Draft Main Stage will be located against the backdrop of Lake Erie, while events will also take place in FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.

"While we know this event will look different than in the past, we are thrilled about what the NFL Draft will mean to our community coming out of this pandemic," President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission David Gilbert said in a statement. "It will showcase Cleveland's beauty and resilience to a large audience, both safely in-person and worldwide."

Prospects not invited to the event live will get a chance to call in remotely. The event will be broadcast on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC.

The Jacksonville Jaguars currently own the No. 1 pick of the draft, which is widely expected to be used to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Fellow quarterbacks Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields, as well as playmakers like DeVonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts, headline the rest of the 2021 class.