For the first time since 1961, Philadelphia will play host to the NFL Draft. The City of Brotherly Love takes over after two years of hosting by Chicago and the 50 years before that in New York City.
This year, the stage will be set up so that players walk the famous “Rocky” steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art after being drafted. And the first three players to come off the board may be on the defensive side of the ball, with Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, LSU’s Jamal Adams, and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen in the mix.
Many top prospects hope their injury issues don’t affect their draft position, including Allen, Lattimore, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, Washington receiver John Ross, and Ohio State safety Malik Hooker.
And, of course, it will be interesting to watch which quarterback is off the board first, with Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer in the running for that top billing.
The Patriots, who seem to have filled the majority of their needs through free agency and trades, don’t have many glaring holes, but will likely look to bolster defensive end and tight end depth. And in true Patriots fashion, they’ll probably pick up a player in a late round and turn him into a valuable asset.
So before the festivities get underway Thursday night, read up on everything you need to know about the draft:
When: Thursday, April 27, 8 p.m.; Friday, April 28, 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 29, noon.
TV: ESPN/NFL Network.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval.
Making the rounds: Round 1 will be Thursday, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 Friday, and Rounds 4-7 Saturday.
On the clock: 10 minutes to pick in Round 1, seven minutes in Round 2, five minutes in Round 3-6, four minutes in Round 7, four minutes for compensatory picks.
First-round draft order:
2. San Francisco
5. Tennessee (from LA Rams)
6. NY Jets
7. LA Chargers
11. New Orleans
12. Cleveland (from Philadelphia)
14. Philadelphia (from Minnesota)
19. Tampa Bay
23. NY Giants
27. Kansas City
29. Green Bay
32. New Orleans (from New England)
Take your pick: Cincinnati and Cleveland have the most picks with 11 each. Atlanta and New England have the fewest with six each. Denver, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Washington each have 10 picks. Eleven teams have eight picks: Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Green Bay, Jacksonville, LA Rams, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee. Thirteen teams have seven picks: Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, LA Chargers, Miami, New Orleans, NY Giants, NY Jets, Seattle, Tampa Bay.
Forfeited picks: New England will be without its highest fourth-round pick (118), the last remaining Deflategate punishment. The Giants were forced to move their fourth-round pick after the compensatory picks, stemming from their use of walkie-talkies on the sideline last season. Seattle will give up a fifth-round pick for violating offseason workout rules. Kansas City will forfeit its sixth-round pick for tampering two years ago.
|3||8||72||From Carolina||Traded second-round pick for Kony Ealy and this pick|
|4||25||131||From Seattle||Traded first- and third-round picks for Brandin Cooks and fourth-round pick (118, forfeited)|
|6||16||200||From Indianapolis||Traded fourth-round pick for Dwayne Allen and this pick|
|7||21||239||From Detroit||Traded sixth-round pick for Kyle Van Noy and this pick|
Make your reads
■ Ben Volin weighed which team will take a chance on running back Joe Mixon.
■ Julian Benbow examined Boston College linebacker Matt Milano’s draft outlook.
■ Here is Jim McBride’s mock draft for the Patriots. Since New England doesn’t have a pick (right now) until the third round, McBride projects the Patriots will use their first selection of the draft on Michigan tight end Jake Butt.
■ Twenty-two prospects will attend the draft in Philadelphia.
|Gareon Conley||CB||Ohio State|
|Corey Davis||WR||Western Michigan|
|Adoree’ Jackson||CB||Southern California|
|DeShone Kizer||QB||Notre Dame|
|Marshon Lattimore||CB||Ohio State|
|Malik McDowell||DT||Michigan State|
|Mitchell Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
■ Fourteen college coaches will also be in Philly: Larry Fedora, North Carolina; P.J. Fleck, Minnesota; Butch Jones, Tennessee; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Mike MacIntyre, Colorado; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Jim Mora, UCLA; Ed Orgeron, LSU; Chris Petersen, Washington; Matt Rhule, Baylor; Nick Saban, Alabama; David Shaw, Stanford; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Kyle Whittingham, Utah.
■ Ninety-five underclassmen have declared for the draft. It is the second straight year and third time in four years that more than 90 have tossed their names into the draft hat.
■ Here are this year’s underclassmen.
|Noah Brown||WR||Ohio State|
|Devin Childress||WR||North Park|
|Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida State|
|Jerod Evans||QB||Virginia Tech|
|Jeremy Faulk||DT||Garden City CC|
|Tarean Folston||RB||Notre Dame|
|Isaiah Ford||WR||Virginia Tech|
|Myles Garrett||DE||Texas A&M|
|Shelton Gibson||WR||West Virginia|
|Chris Godwin||WR||Penn State|
|Isaiah Golden||DT||McNeese State|
|Derrick Griffin||WR||Texas Southern|
|Elijah Hood||RB||North Carolina|
|Malik Hooker||DB||Ohio State|
|Titus Howard||DB||Slippery Rock|
|Roderick Johnson||T||Florida State|
|Aaron Jones||RB||Texas-El Paso|
|Josh Jones||DB||North Carolina State|
|Nazair Jones||DT||North Carolina|
|DeShone Kizer||QB||Notre Dame|
|Marshon Lattimore||DB||Ohio State|
|Elijah Lee||LB||Kansas State|
|Marlon Mack||RB||South Florida|
|Patrick Mahomes||QB||Texas Tech|
|Damien Mama||G||Southern California|
|Malik McDowell||DT||Michigan State|
|Raekwon McMillan||LB||Ohio State|
|Jeremy McNichols||RB||Boise State|
|Montae Nicholson||DB||Michigan State|
|Speedy Noil||WR||Texas A&M|
|Aaron Peak||DB||Butler County CC|
|Travis Rudolph||WR||Florida State|
|Curtis Samuel||WR||Ohio State|
|Ricky Seals-Jones||WR||Texas A&M|
|Garrett Sickels||DE||Penn State|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||WR||Southern California|
|Vincent Taylor||DT||Oklahoma State|
|Mitch Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
■ If an Alabama player is taken in the first round, it will mark the ninth straight year the Crimson Tide have had a first-rounder, tying Florida (1983-91) for the second-longest streak. Miami has the longest streak at 14 years (1995-2008).
■ Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson should become the sixth quarterback since 2006 to win a national championship and get drafted in the first round. The others: Jameis Winston (2015), Cam Newton (2011), Tim Tebow (2010), Vince Young (2006), and Matt Leinart (2006).
■ If three Ohio State prospects — Malik Hooker, Marshon Lattimore, and Gareon Conley — are taken in the first round, the Buckeyes would tie Alabama for the fourth-most players taken in the first round over a two-year span. Eight Crimson Tide players were drafted in the first round in 2011 and 2012. Miami had 28 players selected in the first round from 2001-04.
■ If Myles Garrett is taken with the top pick, he would become the first Texas A&M player to be selected first overall. If North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky or Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes is taken in the first round, it would be a first for a quarterback from either program.
■ If Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt is drafted Thursday, he and J.J. would become the eighth set of brothers to be taken in the first round.
■ And if LSU’s Jamal Adams is drafted Thursday, he and his father George (NY Giants in 1985) would be the eighth father-son pair to be selected in the first round.
Here are possible draft targets at each position for the Patriots.
Running back: De’Veon Smith, Michigan (seventh round/UFA). The Patriots haven’t drafted a running back since White in 2014, and probably won’t this year, either. However, Smith is intriguing because of his size (5 feet 11 inches, 220 pounds) and power running style. He showed excellent determination and stamina in a big-boy conference and could carve out a niche.
Tight end: Jake Butt, Michigan (third round). Butt has good size at 6 feet 5 inches, 250 pounds, and possesses the kind of versatility the Patriots covet. He played traditional tight end, wing, slot, and on the outside during his four years (two-plus as a starter) in Ann Arbor. He flourished in Jim Harbaugh’s pro-style offense as a junior and senior. The big concern is how he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in the Orange Bowl.
Receiver: Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois (sixth round). Golladay possesses excellent size (6-4, 215) with a massive wingspan and outstanding catch radius. He has decent speed and strong hands, allowing him to gain separation and shield defenders from the ball. He needs to pack on a little more muscle and polish his route running.
Offensive tackle: Storm Norton, Toledo (sixth round/UFA). How can you not love a guy named Storm? Norton has NBA height at 6 feet 8 inches but will need to add some meat on his 308-pound frame to be NFL-ready. He is exceptionally quick off the snap and keeps defenders at bay with a massive wingspan and very strong hands.
Offensive guard: Corey Levin, Tennessee-Chattanooga (seventh round/UFA). Levin has good size (6-4, 305 pounds) and versatility, having played all over the Moccasins’ offensive line. He’s a project, but he could be a swing guard like Ted Karras. He’s quick and athletic but hasn’t played against elite competition. Patience could pay off here.
Center: Gavin Andrews, Oregon State (seventh round/UFA). Andrews is another versatile guy who played every spot on the line in college. He has good size (6-5, 340) and strength but lacks athleticism. Andrews plays with great balance and leverage, developed during his days as a high school wrestler.
Quarterback: C.J. Beathard, Iowa (seventh round/UFA). Certainly not expecting the Patriots to draft a quarterback in a year when they have just six picks and more pressing needs. That will change if Jimmy Garoppolo is flipped for picks. Beathard (6-3, 219 pounds) was a very smart, poised, and accurate passer in the Hawkeyes’ pro-style offense. He lacks athleticism but makes up for it with guile and a good arm.
Linebacker: Alex Anzalone, Florida (fourth round). An exceptionally smart and instinctive player, this 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pounder has underrated athleticism and unquestioned toughness. Anzalone has the versatility (he played the Mike, Will, and Sam spots in Gainesville), leadership, and big conference experience the Patriots love. Durability is a major concern, as he has missed time with shoulder woes and a broken arm.
Defensive end: Dawuane Smoot, Illinois (third round). Though he’s a bit undersized at 6-3, 255 pounds, Smoot plays with excellent quickness and balance and pressures the pocket with vim and vigor. Smoot is reliable and dependable, starting the final 24 games of his college career and putting up nice numbers (16.5 sacks, 38.5 tackles for loss, and 5 forced fumbles).
Defensive tackle: Montravius Adams, Auburn (seventh round). A late bloomer, the 6-4, 309-pounder had a terrific final season for the Tigers (4 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, 2 blocked field goals, and an interception). A team MVP, Adams is exceptionally explosive for his size and showed a consistent ability to shoot gaps against tough competition in the Southeastern Conference.
Cornerback: Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee (seventh round/UFA). At 6 feet 1 inch, 170 pounds, Cutrer is a legitimate bone rack. He’s also a legitimate prospect with excellent length, mirror skills, fluidity, and toughness. He needs to pack on some pounds or his aggressive nature could lead to multiple injuries. He’s a project that could pay off.
Safety: Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville (seventh round/UFA). Harvey-Clemons possesses a unique blend of size (6-4, 228 pounds), speed, and athleticism for the position. This guy will not get pushed around. Has played free and strong safety and can also line up in the slot and blanket smaller receivers. It’s that kind of versatility the Patriots covet.
Kicker: Jake Elliott, Memphis (seventh round/UFA). New England had great success plucking a kicker out Memphis 11 years ago, so why not got back to the well? Elliott has been exceptionally accurate and clutch throughout his career. His lack of size (5 feet 9 inches, 166 pounds) is a concern because he doesn’t consistently get his kickoffs to the end zone.
Punter: Justin Vogel, Miami (seventh round/UFA). Vogel is a good athlete with great size (6-4, 216 pounds) and a very powerful leg. Handled both punting and kickoff duties in college and the Patriots love that versatility. (Remember, the more you can do . . . ) Went from walk-on to scholarship player in Coral Gables, so working hard isn’t an issue.
■ For the second straight year, the Patriots do not have a first-round pick, as of now.
|2007||Brandon Meriweather||24||DB||Miami (Fla.)|
|2005||Logan Mankins||32||G||Fresno State|
|2004||Vince Wilfork||21||DL||Miami (Fla.)|
|2003||Ty Warren||13||DT||Texas A&M|
■ The Patriots have never picked at No. 72, which is their first selection this year. That spot has produced pass rusher Olivier Vernon, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, and former Patriots center Grey Ruegamer.
■ Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have drafted in the top 20 only four times: Nate Solder (2011, 17th overall), Jerod Mayo (2008, 10th overall), Ty Warren (2003, 13th overall), Richard Seymour (2001, sixth overall).
■ The Patriots have made a draft-day trade every year (except 2004) since Belichick was hired in 2000. In the Belichick era, the Patriots have traded down 19 times and up 18 times.
■ Solder is the only offensive player on the Patriots’ current roster who was drafted in the first round (2011) by the team.
■ The Patriots have three defensive players they drafted in the first round on the current roster: Devin McCourty (2010), Dont’a Hightower (2012), and Malcom Brown (2015).
■ Longest first round: 6 hours, 8 minutes in 2007.
■ Shortest first round: 2 hours in 1972.
■ Longest seven-round draft: 18 hours, 5 minutes in 2007.
■ Shortest seven-round draft: 13 hours, 45 minutes in 2015.
■ Last year’s first round: 3 hours, 29 minutes.
■ Last year’s total draft length: 14 hours, 5 minutes.
■ Between 2000-09, the draft averaged 14 trades of first-round picks per year. Between 2010-16, the average was 11.3 trades per year, with only six in 2015 and eight in 2016. Here are how many first-round trades have been executed over the last decade.
■ Three times 19 offensive players were selected in the first round (1968, 2004, 2009). Once 19 defensive players were taken in the first round (2006). Over the last decade, 155 offensive players have been taken in the first round to 163 defensive players.
■ Texas lays claim to the most players selected in a single draft with 17 in 1984.
■ Miami had the most first-round selections from one team with six in 2004.
■ Three programs have had five players each selected with the first overall pick.
|Auburn||5||Cam Newton (Carolina, QB, 2011), Aundray Bruce (Atlanta, LB, 1988), Bo Jackson (Tampa Bay, RB, 1986), Tucker Frederickson (NY Giants, RB, 1965) Ken Rice (Buffalo, G, 1961)|
|Notre Dame||5||Walt Patulski (Buffalo, DE, 1973, Paul Hornung (Green Bay, HB, 1957) Leon Hart (Detroit, E, 1950), Frank Dancewicz (Boston Yanks, QB, 1946) Angelo Bertelli (Boston Yanks, QB, 1944)|
|Southern California||5||Carson Palmer (Cincinnati, QB, 2003), Keyshawn Johnson (NY Jets, WR, 1996), Ricky Bell (Tampa Bay, RB, 1977), O.J. Simpson (Buffalo, RB, 1969), Ron Yary (Minnesota, T, 1968)|
■ Three times over the last decade, Southern Cal has had the most players drafted in a single year. Florida State and Florida have led that category twice over that span.
|2011||North Carolina, Southern California||9|
■ Southern Cal has had the most first-round picks since 1967. Twelve programs have had 30 or more players drafted in the first round in that same span.
Jim McBride and Ben Volin of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.