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Changes Shorten the NFL Draft

The 2008 NFL Draft will feature new changes to shorten the length of the event and also to give it a better flow.  Commissioner Roger Goodell announced changes at the owners meetings earlier this week; they are below.

  • Time limit for first round picks shortened from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

  • Time limit for second round picks shortened from 10 minutes to 7 minutes.

  • Starting time for day 1 of the draft pushed back to 3:00 p.m. ET.

  • Day 1 now will only consist of rounds 1 and 2 instead of 1, 2, and 3.

  • Day 2 of the draft will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET and will start with the third round.

The change above that will have the biggest impact by far is the first round time limit getting shortened by 5 minutes.  Although to some 5 minutes may not sound like a lot, it definitely is when it comes to picking the future of your franchise.  Although those involved in making the picks will have to speed things up from now on in the first (and second as well) round, this change is definitely a good one.

Coming from someone that live-blogged the entire first day of the draft wire-to-wire, I want to give a big thanks to Roger Goodell and the owners.  Don't get me wrong, talking football all day was very fun, but the day just dragged on so slowly.  The first round alone took a record 6+ hours to complete, but now with the change, it can only take a maximum of 5 hours, 20 minutes.  That still is a long time, but for this year you can shave 10 minutes off as the Patriots won't be using one of their first round draft picks due to the punishment for spygate.

Moving down the list to some of the other changes, the next most important is the second round time limit going from 10 minutes to 7 minutes.  Again, this will greatly speed things up and can hopefully get the flow moving better.  That is the one thing about the NFL Draft that I can't stand: it just doesn't flow at all.  You used to be able to sit there for an hour to only see 4 picks in the first round and then do the same and see only 6 in the second round.  That alone shows why it took so long for the first day to be completed, which brings me to the next change.

With the start time of the draft being pushed back to 3:00 p.m. ET, there is only enough time to squeeze in 2 rounds.  That is fine by me as the NFL is thinking about its west coast viewers here.  Waking up at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday isn't exactly what most people want to do just to watch the draft, so this will give them a noon start time.  For the second day, the west coasters will have to get up early with the start time being an hour earlier than normal, but that was a necessity if all remaining rounds were to be fit in on Sunday.

Overall, I am very happy with the changes made to the draft.  Live-blogging on Saturday will be much, much easier as I don't have to worry about another 9-hour day.  Sunday, on the other hand, probably will feel very long as 5 rounds will be crammed into day 2 instead of the usual 4.  Still, though, this is a great move for both the fans and the teams.