If there is any 2005 draft drama to rival the Eli Manning saga of last year, the NFL Network will be there to cover it
The National Football League's annual draft is probably the most anticipated offseason event in any sport, and it's receiving coverage like never before from the nascent NFL Network.
Now you can view some of that content right here on Buccaneers.com.
All this week, on the final days leading up to the draft and then during the proceedings over the weekend, NFL Network will provide hours of streaming on-line content to the Buccaneers' team site. The on-line coverage begins Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with a 90-minute block of NFL Total Access.
You'll get more in-depth analysis from the NFLTA crew on Wednesday night from 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET, then a one-hour Mock Draft from 9:00-10:00 p.m. Similar programming will be available on Thursday night, followed by a two-hour NFLTA block on Friday.
While the draft will be aired by ESPN on Saturday and Sunday, the NFL Network will be providing hours of coverage as well. You can watch a live stream of that coverage here on Buccaneers.com from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET and 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, then again from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Each day, you will find the link to the NFL Network live stream during the designated times in the Buccaneer Broadcast Network box on the home page of Buccaneers.com. The link will remain active through each allotted block of time. The same link can also be found in the Video Archive at all times this week, even when inactive.
For further information on the NFL Network's extensive draft coverage, please visit the network's web site.
Also, as a reminder, Buccaneers.com will provide live coverage of all Buccaneer press conferences during the two days of the draft, as well as taped segments with college scouts after certain Tampa Bay selections. This video coverage, and much more, can be found in the special Draft Central section.
The Buccaneers.com 2005 draft contest, Twenty Questions, has already attracted more than 1,300 entries, as of Monday. Have you played yet?
It's easy to participate and you could walk away with valuable prizes. The winners of the Twenty Questions contest will receive a variety of Buccaneer game tickets and merchandise.
This year's contest takes a new approach, asking fans for their predictions on 20 draft-related questions, from the Buccaneers' first pick to the length of the time the first round will take to complete. Each question can be answered from a pulldown list of possibilities, and the winner will be the fan who submits the most correct answers.
So if you haven't played Twenty Questions, why not give it a try by clicking here. And if you've already entered, feel free to visit again; each entrant may play up to five times.
The Smiths Have It
Some little-known facts regarding the most extensively-covered draft in all of sports:
- A total of 21,575 selections* have been made since the first NFL Draft on February 8, 1936 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. The first was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago (by Philadelphia). The 21,575th was Colorado State linebacker Andre Sommersell, the final player selected last year (by Oakland).
- Since the T-formation became the standard offensive formation in the NFL in 1946, there have been six drafts in which a quarterback was not selected in the first round: 1947, 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1996. The latest the first quarterback has been drafted was in 1988 when Chris Chandler of Washington was selected by Indianapolis with the 21st pick of the third round, 76th overall.
- In 69 years of the NFL Draft, the most selected surname has been "Smith" -- 251 times. The five most popular last names in NFL Draft history are Smith, Williams (242), Johnson (229), Jones (198) and Brown (182).
- Defensive end Eric Swann is the only player in NFL Draft history never to attend college.
- It is believed that the first draft-day trade of draft choices in the same draft that involved no players occurred in 1972, when Oakland and New Orleans completed a trade that permitted the Raiders to move up in the second round. The Raiders acquired the 33rd selection in the draft from New Orleans in exchange for the 39th and 74th selections. The Raiders then selected defensive tackle Kelvin Korver from Northwestern, who played three seasons for them.
( Number of actual players drafted is slightly less because an ineligible player may have drafted, then taken a second time after becoming eligible.)*