The NFL Draft: A photo history

  • The 2014 NFL draft is being held May 8-10 (Thursday-Saturday) at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 

    To get you ready, here's a photo gallery of important moments in draft history:

    The first NFL draft came in 1936 and its first selection was University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger (who was also the first Heisman Trophy winner). Berwanger chose not to play football and instead took a job with a Chicago rubber company (a move he later regretted). 
    (Photo: BohnBooks.com)
    The first high-profile draft pick was Colorado's Byron "Whizzer" White. In 1938, Pittsburgh selected him in the first round despite his stated intention to work on his Rhodes Scholarship (he would go on to become a Supreme Court Justice). However, Steelers owner Art Rooney lured him into playing by publicly granting White a guaranteed contract of $15,000, double what any other player had ever made in the NFL. The size of the contract angered other owners because it altered the pay expectations of college draftees. (Photo: AZCentral.com)
    Indiana running back George Taliaferro became the first African-American drafted when he was chosen by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round of the 1949 NFL draft. (Photo: NFL.com)
    The concept of Mr. Irrelevant -- the last player selected in the NFL draft -- came about in 1976. The first Mr. Irrelevant was Kelvin Kirk of Dayton, who was drafted by Pittsburgh. (Photo: SpringfieldNewsSun
    The 1980 draft became the first to be televised when a one-year-old cable sports network named ESPN convinced NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to grant it the broadcast rights. (Photo: Whenyouputitthatway.com)
    Analysis of the draft became a cottage industry thanks to Mel Kiper, who worked his first NFL draft in 1984 for a paltry $400. Kiper's name is now synonymous with the event and the practice of creating "mock drafts" was popularized by him. (Photo: InsideSoCal)
    The draft's popularity surged when the NFL moved its coverage from the weekday to the weekend in 1988. Millions of viewers tuned in to see Atlanta select Auburn's Aundray Bruce as the first overall pick. (Photo: RCSportscards.com
    In 2010, the NFL moved to its current format: a three-day draft with the first day encompassing the first round beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, the second day encompassing the second and third rounds beginning at 6:00 pm ET on Friday and the third day concluding the process with the final four rounds beginning at 10:00 am ET Saturday. (Photo: UPI.com)
    The 2014 draft will be held in Radio City Music Hall in New York City, with hundreds of media and fans in attendance. (Photo: SportsTravelMagazine
    If any player other than South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is selected as the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft, it will be a huge shock. (Photo: Grantland)
     
     

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