- Late April is normally a busy time of year in the sports world, with the NBA and NHL playoffs, the start of the MLB season, and the NFL Draft all in full swing.
- But, since actual games have been put on hold, the NFL Draft has now emerged as the primary sports storyline of the month.
- The NFL draft will air live across three days on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network, starting on Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET.
- You can watch the draft live using several streaming services, including FuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and AT&T TV.
- If you’re looking for a reliable media player to stream the event on, be sure to check out our guide to the best streaming sticks and devices.
Though a regular NFL season only runs 17 weeks, football is covered like a year-long sport, with plenty of significant developments during the offseason. After one of the most noteworthy free agency periods in recent history — in which we saw one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen switch teams in his 21st season — the next big event on the league’s calendar is the NFL Draft.
The buzz surrounding this year’s draft has been amplified because sports fans across the world are hungry for content. Normally in late April, we have the conference finals in the NBA, the NHL playoffs, and the MLB’s Opening Day. These events have all been canceled, however, as a result of preventive measures being taken to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Without these games being played, the NFL Draft is now in a position to dominate the headlines. In addition, this year’s draft will be especially unique since it’s being conducted virtually through video conferencing platforms.
When is the 2020 NFL Draft?
The 2020 NFL draft will be spread across three days, starting on the evening of Thursday, April 23. Seven rounds will be held throughout the event.
- The first round will begin on Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET, and is expected to conclude at 11:30 p.m. ET.
- The second and third rounds will start on Friday, April 24, at 7 p.m. ET, and are expected to end at 11:30 p.m. ET.
- The last four rounds will air Saturday, April 25, starting at 12 p.m. ET, and are expected to wrap up at 7 p.m. ET.
How can I watch the 2020 NFL draft?
If you have a cable or satellite package, you can watch the draft live through the NFL Network, ABC, or ESPN.
In addition to cable and satellite broadcasts, the draft will also be available to stream live through the NFL, ABC, or ESPN apps on connected devices. With that said, you’ll still need an authenticated pay-TV account in order to stream the event.
If you don’t have a cable subscription, however, you can still watch the draft live through several streaming services with access to one or more of the participating networks. These services include FuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and AT&T TV.
Right now, Sling TV is offering free “Happy Hour” streaming to all new customers from 5 p.m. to midnight every night. The free primetime channel selection includes the NFL Network, so if you’re new to Sling, you can watch the first three rounds of the draft without having to pay anything. Additionally, new customers can sign up now for a free seven-day trial of Hulu + Live TV or FuboTV in order to watch the entire draft without having to commit to a full subscription.
For those who do want to commit to a subscription, Sling TV offers the most affordable option to watch the draft through its Blue (includes NFL Network) or Orange (includes ESPN) streaming plans. These plans start at $20 a month for your first month of service. The subscription goes up to $30 a month following the initial discount. You can read more about the Sling service in our full Sling TV guide.
Who are the expected first picks in the draft?
Beyond the intrigue surrounding how smoothly a completely virtual draft will be executed, there are plenty of notable storylines regarding the teams and players involved in the draft.
There isn’t much doubt about the first overall pick, with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow being the obvious choice for the Cincinnati Bengals. Most people suspect that Ohio State’s star defensive end Chase Young will follow Burrow as the Washington Redskin’s selection at number two.
The madness is expected to begin after these first two picks are confirmed, with plenty of rumors swirling about the Detroit Lions sending the third pick to a team trading up for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Following a tremendous college career under coach Nick Saban, Tagavailoa has been billed as the top pick in this draft for years, but after suffering a devastating season-ending injury in 2019, there are question marks surrounding his durability as the leader of the huddle on Sundays.
We’ll find out exactly who each team ultimately decides to pick when the draft kicks off on April 23.
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