It was the first time in 75 NFL Drafts that the event was held over three days.
And based on TV viewership of the selection meeting on Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon, count on the league continuing with the three-day format.
Some 45.4 million people viewed at least some part of the 2010 NFL Draft over the weekend on ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network. That was a 16 percent increase from last year’s telecasts
A record 32.9 million viewers watched at least six minutes of the draft broadcasts.
Ratings for telecasts of the NBA and NHL Playoffs lagged far behind the NFL Draft.
Here’s more on the three-day event that is so popular with the fans and media, and so important to the league’s 32 teams:
TRADING PLACES WAS VERY POPULAR
By the time they were done swapping draft choices, there had been 106 of 255 selections that changed hands at least once in the ’10 NFL Draft. That’s 42 percent of the draft.
There were 159 exchanges of those 106 choices, involving 27 of the league’s 32 teams. Only Buffalo, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, the New York Giants and Chicago were not involved in any of the swaps.
The most popular ’10 draft choice for trading was No. 158 in the fifth round. It belonged to New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, New England, Oakland and Jacksonville at one time or another.
And there were seven selections in the 2011 and 2012 NFL Drafts that were traded: Carolina gave up a second-round pick; San Diego and New Orleans gave up fourth-round choices; San Diego and Denver traded away fifth-round selections and Philadelphia dealt a sixth-round pick. All of those were for 2011. The Raiders traded an undisclosed 2012 draft choice in the deal that brought them QB Jason Campbell from the Redskins.
UNDERCLASSMEN WERE POPULAR
There were 55 players with remaining college eligibility who declared for the ’10 NFL Draft. There were 46 that were drafted, ranging from No. 1 choice QB Sam Bradford to sixth-round WR Antonio brown out of Central Michigan.
Those underclassmen who were not drafted were: WR Chris Bell, Norfolk State; WR Toney Baker, North Carolina State; DE Kevin Basped, Nevada; DE Jerome Hayes, Penn State; RB Stafon Johnson, Southern Cal; RB Darius Marshall, Marshall; RB Shawnbrey McNeal, SMU; QB Jevan Snead, Mississippi; CB Donovan Warren, Michigan.
ASSUME THE POSITION
The most popular position group in the 2010 NFL Draft was the secondary, with 52 defensive backs selected. There were 48 defensive linemen grabbed and 38 offensive linemen.
Among the underclassmen, the most popular position was defensive backs with 11 and nine wide receivers.
THE CLOCK ON THE WALL SAID
The longest of the seven rounds was the first; it that took three hours, 28 minutes to complete. The shortest round was the third, which took just one hour, 41 minutes.
In all it was an over 14-hour draft before everything wrapped up on Saturday evening.
STARTING WITH “M”
The most popular letter for last names was “M” with 29 players owning a last name starting with that letter. The group ran from WR Marc Mariani, taken in the seventh round by Tennessee to CB Jerome Murphy drafted in the third round by St. Louis.
No players with first names that started with U, X and Z were taken.
THE GATORS AND SEC WIN MOST POPULAR
The Southeastern Conference had 49 players selected in seven rounds, significantly more than any other conference in major college football. The next closest league was the Big 10 Conference with 34, the Atlanta Coast Conference had 31 and the Big 12 finished up with 30 draftees.
The University of Florida had the most players drafted with nine, all in the fifth round or higher. Alabama, Southern California and Oklahoma each had seven players drafted.
WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ COMBINE INVITE: University of Tennessee G Jacques McClendon was the highest drafted player who was not invited to the NFL Combine back in February. He was selected in the fourth round, ironically by the Colts.
Overall 39 of the 255 players selected were not invited to Indianapolis for workouts, interviews and testing; that’s 15 percent of the field. McClendon was taken in the fourth round, there were five more non-Combine invitees taken in the fifth, 11 in the sixth and 22 players in the seventh round.