NFL Draft 2014: How many rounds will it last?

NFL Draft 2014: NFL fans have been waiting for this week since Super Bowl XLVIII back on Feb. 2. The NFL Draft gives teams and fans alike the opportunity to dream about how good their teams could be.

Lucas Jackson/REUTERS
Top NFL Draft prospects stand on the marquee above Radio City Music Hall ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft in New York, April 24, 2013.

The next class of future National Football League players will discover their destination this week. The 2014 National Football League Draft begins Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The NFL Draft has seven rounds and takes place over three days, beginning Thursday evening at 8 p.m. Eastern time when the important first round will unfold. Teams covet first round picks for the impact those players drafted can make. First-round draft picks typically earn the most lucrative contracts, though the league's rookie salary cap and most recent collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association keeps those deals from getting too big.

The Houston Texans of the American Football Conference are scheduled to pick first in the 2014 NFL Draft, followed by the St. Louis Rams of the National Football Conference. The AFC's Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders round out the top five picks.

The NFL Draft continues on Friday night, with rounds two and three, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern. Teams typically can add significant talent to their rosters in these rounds, as well.

The draft will wrap up on Saturday, with rounds four through seven, beginning at noon Eastern time. These rounds can see football players from smaller colleges and universities around the US selected by NFL teams. The NFL Draft's final pick at number 256 is commonly referred to as "Mr. Irrelevant," for the possibility of his making a NFL team's roster. Depending on the speed of teams making draft selections Saturday, the draft could go until early Saturday evening.

The 2014 NFL Draft will be televised on both ESPN and the NFL Network, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time Thursday.

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