Welcome to the League: The NFL Draft by the Numbers

Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

With the NFL Draft kicking off today, we wanted to take you inside the numbers surrounding one of the biggest events of the year.

Below you will find numbers on Nashville, how much each draft pick will make and more.

Nashville opens its doors…

Nashville is known for its parties and with the NFL Draft being one of the biggest parties of the year, the city is pulling out all the stops. Here’s a look at the Draft by the numbers for Nashville, according to CBS News.

1. More than 100,000 fans are set to visit the city for Draft festivities just today alone.

2. Twenty musical acts are scheduled to perform.

3. The stage for the draft is 65-feet tall by 165-feet wide.

4. Three designated viewing areas will be set up along the downtown strip together with food trucks, video screens and hotdog vendors.

The numbers behind ESPN’s coverage…

For the first time in its history, all three rounds of the NFL Draft will air on ABC. ESPN will also carry all three days of the Draft as well. With the Disney rolling out the red carpet for coverage, here’s a look at what all of it entails just on the ESPN side.

– 1,000+ production elements
– 600+ player highlight packages
– 360+ hours of dedicated NFL Draft content across all ESPN networks (started the week of the NFL Combine)
– 250+ hours of top prospects’ and recent NFL Draft picks’ best college games on ESPNU
– 100+ player personality bumps
– 100+ NFL team graphics
– 70+ microphones
– 57 cameras
– 50+ NFL team edits
– 50+ storytelling vignettes
– 30 player live shots
– 26-hour NFL Draft Marathon on ESPN and ESPN2 leading into Round 1
– 25 “sense of place” bumps with local Nashville artists
– 7 production trucks

What is the Rookie Wage Scale?

Before the implementation of the Rookie Wage Scale in the NFL after the 2011 lockout, rookie contracts had reached meteoric levels, with commentators and analysts wondering just how much it would take players to sign. For example, in 2010, before it was implemented, Sam Bradford signed a deal worth $78 million over 6 years. In 2011, after it was implemented, Cam Newton, who was the #1 overall pick, signed a deal worth $22 million over 4 years.

The goal in all of this was to free up more money for veteran players and to limit player holdouts, which were much more common before 2011. Ahead of tonight’s draft here are a few other key points you should know.

1. Four-Year Contracts – All contracts now signed coming out of the draft are for four years. Players drafted in the first round have the chance for a fifth-year option, while everyone else drafted outside of the first round gets four years with no option.

2. Rookie Pool- According to Over the Cap, the Rookie Pool is the total cost in cap dollars that a team needs to sign its rookies in the summer. For example, the Arizona Cardinals, who pick first tonight, have a rookie pool of $12,535,470, meaning that they can pay up to that much this season for their rookie contracts coming off of the draft.

Who gets paid what then?

According to spotrac, this is how much each player drafted in the top 10 this year will make.

Number 1:  $34,912,834 ($23,411,152 signing bonus)

Number 2: $33,318,233 ($22,251,442 signing bonus)

Number 3: $32,303,506 ($21,513,459 signing bonus)

Number 4: $31,143,784 ($20,670,025 signing bonus)

Number 5: $29,114,286 ($19,194,026 signing bonus)

Number 6: $25,490,195 ($16,558,324 signing bonus)

Number 7: $22,590,921 ($14,449,761 signing bonus)

Number 8: $19,691,647 ($12,341,198 signing bonus)

Number 9: $19,546,519 ($12,235,650 signing bonus)

Number 10: $18,749,378 ($11,655,911 signing bonus)