Patriots 2021 NFL Draft Primer and Ways to Watch

The New England Patriots hold 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Here’s everything you need to know.


  • 8 p.m. (ET) Thursday, April 29, 2021 (Round 1)
  • 7 p.m. (ET) Friday, April 30, 2021 (Rounds 2-3)
  • 12 p.m. (ET) Saturday, May 1, 2021 (Rounds (4-7)


The 2021 NFL Draft will consist of seven rounds with a total of 259 selections. In addition, a total of 32 compensatory choices were awarded.


  • Round 1: 10 minutes per selection
  • Round 2: 7 minutes per selection
  • Rounds 3-6: 5 minutes per selection
  • Round 7: 4 minutes per selection


The 2021 NFL Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and can be heard nationwide on Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM NFL Radio and ESPN Radio.


NFL Network, ESPN and ABC all offer live streams of the NFL Draft (may require logging in through your cable provider).



The 2021 Patriots Draft Party presented by Bud Light is the perfect pre-draft show for all Patriots fans. Hosted live from Patriot Place by Nick “Fitzy” Stevens and Megan Ottolini, the show will feature interviews with Patriots Chairman and CEO, Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick, and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ty Law. You’ll also hear from 2020 6th Round Pick Michael Onwenu about his draft experience and rookie season.

The Patriots Draft Party presented by Bud Light will stream on, the Patriots official apps for iOS and Android, and official social accounts on FacebookTwitter and YouTube from 7:00 to 7:45 PM ET.

PATRIOTS UNFILTERED DRAFT SHOW PRESENTED BY BOSE’s flagship radio show, Patriots Unfiltered will offer live coverage of the NFL Draft with instant analysis of all the picks.

The schedule of live shows are noted below (all times eastern):

  • Thursday, April 29 – 7:50 PM to end of first round (first 40 minutes broadcast in video)
  • Friday, April 30 – 7 PM to 10 PM (7 PM – 8 PM broadcast in video)
  • Saturday, May 1 – 2 PM – 4 PM (2 PM – 3 PM broadcast in video)

Streaming live on, the Patriots official apps for iOS and Android, and official social accounts on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

PATRIOTS POST-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCES will live stream post-draft press conferences at the conclusion of each day of the draft. These press conferences will also be streaming to the Patriots official social accounts as well as the Patriots official apps.


As of April 26, the Patriots possess 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Table inside Article
1 15 15 Assigned Selection
2 14 46 Assigned Selection
3 33 96 Compensatory Selection
4a 15 120 Assigned Selection
4b 17 122 From Houston
4c 34 139 Compensatory Selection
5 33 177 Compensatory Selection
6a 4 188 From Houston
6b 13 197 Assigned Selection
7 15 242 Assigned Selection

4b/6a – The New England Patriots acquired the Houston Texans 2021 fourth-round pick (122nd overall) and sixth-round pick (188th overall) in exchange for the Patriots 2021 fifth-round pick (158th overall) and sixth-round pick (195th overall) and OL Marcus Cannon. The 195th pick was acquired from Dallas in a trade on Oct. 25, 2019, in exchange for DL Michael Bennett.


The NFL’s 2021 draft order was derived from the reverse order of 2020 regular-season records, with the exception of the Super Bowl champion, the Super Bowl runner-up and the playoff teams. Teams that made the playoffs are ordered by which round of the playoffs they are eliminated. For teams with identical records, the tiebreaker is strength of schedule, with the team with the lowest strength of schedule drafting first. The final tiebreaker is a coin flip.


If a team does not make a pick during its allotted time period, the team “passes” and the pick will defer to the next team. The initial team may then at any point make a pick, regardless of whether or not the subsequent team has made a pick.


The draft order of teams with identical records will rotate by round, with the exception of the Super Bowl champion and the Super Bowl runner-up, which will draft last and next-to-last in each round. In ties that involve three or more teams, the team at the bottom of the tied segment in a given round will move to the top of the segment for the next round, while all other teams in the segment move down one position. This rotation continues throughout the draft.


A total of 36 compensatory choices in the 2021 NFL Draft have been awarded to 17 teams. The Patriots were awarded three compensatory picks: a third-round pick (96th overall), a fourth-round pick (140th overall) and a fifth round pick (177th overall). The Patriots have been awarded a total of 46 compensatory selections in the 28 years since the system was adopted prior to the 1994 draft, tied for the third-most in the NFL.

Numbers and Positioning: The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents, with a maximum of four. The compensatory picks are positioned within the third through seventh rounds, based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

Formula: Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Details can be found at



The Patriots have held the 15th pick in the draft one time since 1970 and used the selection on QB Tony Eason from Illionos in 1983.

NOTABLE PICKS: The 15th selection produced running back Melvin Gordon (Denver) from the 2015 NFL Draft, LB Ryan Shazier (Pittsburgh) in 2014, C Mike Pouncey (Miami) in 2011 and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (N.Y. Giants ) in 2010.

LAST YEAR AT #15: The Denver Broncos selected WR Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama with the 15th pick overall. He started 14-of-16 games played and finished with 52 receptions for 856 yards and three touchdowns.


The Patriots have made two selections at No. 46 overall in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000. In 2000, the Patriots drafted T Adrian Klemm, who was part of the Patriots first three Super Bowl teams. The Patriots drafted Patriots Hall of Fame RB Kevin Faulk with the 46th pick in 1999. Faulk fifinished a 13-year as the team’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and all-time leader in total return yards. He was a part of 11 winning seasons and three Super Bowl championships.

NOTABLE PICKS: Two Pro Football Hall of Famers were selected with the 46th pick overall – OL Larry Allen by Dallas in 1994 and LB Jack Lambert by Pittsburgh in 1974. Allen was named first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons and elected to 11 Pro Bowls. He helped Dallas win Super Bowl XXX and is a member of the NFL’s 1990s and 2000s All-Decade tems. Lambert was the leader of the famed “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976 and was selected to nine Pro Bowls.

LAST YEAR AT #46: Last year, the Denver Broncos selected WR KJ Hamler with the 46th pick overall out of Penn State. He caught 30 passes for 381 yards and three touchdowns.


The 2021 NFL Draft will again host Draft-a-Thon, a fundraiser that drives awareness and action to close critical gaps at the intersection of pandemic recovery and our hardest hit communities. Draft-a-Thon will be featured across the live Draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and NFL Network April 29-May 1 and will showcase the efforts of the four nonprofit organizations that support pandemic recovery in these areas:

  • Health Disparities – CDC Foundation: Communities of color, indigenous communities, older and rural Americans have long faced health disparities. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic, where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted those already experiencing health disparities. Through Draft-a-Thon, the CDC Foundation will drive awareness of the cause of health inequities and promote vital community conditions, including meeting the basic needs for health, nutrition, safety, housing, education, and meaningful work.
  • The Digital Divide – The Education Trust: Over this past year, the digital divide – a growing chasm between those who have access to computers and reliable, high-speed Internet and those who do not – has widened due to the pandemic when students needed to work from home without proper resources to do so. More than 16 million students lack the necessary Internet access at home to complete their homework, according to Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education. This year’s Draft-a-Thon will support The Education Trust in their work to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.
  • Food Insecurity – Feeding America: Feeding America estimates nearly 42 million people, including 13 million children, could face food insecurity in 2021 due to the ongoing economic fallout from COVID-19. This equates to 1 in 8 people and 1 in 6 children. Feeding America’s mission is to feed people facing food insecurity through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. Draft-a-Thon will provide an opportunity to inform fans that we all have neighbors that need our help putting food on the table, especially as we work towards pandemic recovery, and we can all help by spreading the word, donating and volunteering.
  • Mental Health – Mental Health America: Throughout the ongoing pandemic, 4 out of 5 people who took an anxiety or depression screening with Mental Health America reported moderate to severe symptoms. The pandemic has made it clear to everyone that there is a huge need for more mental health services and support, especially in our hardest hit communities. Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promote mental health. Draft-a-Thon will raise awareness and understanding that prioritizing our mental health is a key part of recovering from the pandemic.

Draft-a-Thon will simultaneously come to life via Draft-a-Thon LIVE, a social livestream, hosted by NFL Network’s Kay Adams. During the first two days of the 2021 NFL Draft, NFL players, Legends, celebrities, and additional guests will help rally NFL fans to raise awareness and funds for the four organizations the NFL is supporting on the path to pandemic recovery. Draft-a-Thon LIVE will stream across NFL social and digital platforms including Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, Twitch, Reddit, and

Fans and other supporters can learn more about this year’s Draft-a-Thon and donate at

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