The 2018 NFL Draft begins Thursday night, but Patriots fans don’t need to tune in right at 8 p.m. when the prime-time broadcast begins on ESPN, Fox, and NFL Network because both of the team’s first-round picks will come late, if they stand pat at spots 23 and 31.
Teams have 10 minutes to make their first-round selections, and the draft truly gets going about 15 minutes after the broadcast begins. First there are a few words from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, then the team with the first pick goes on the clock. Last year, the Browns announced on Twitter their choice of No. 1 pick Myles Garrett at 8:14 p.m.
In the past four years, the first round of the draft has averaged just under 3 hours 30 minutes. It was 3:34 in 2017, 3:29 in 2016, 3:09 in 2015, and 3:39 in 2014.
Various circumstances can speed up or delay the proceedings, so predicting when a team will make any pick is far from an exact science. But announcements of the picks on Twitter can provide some insight because the league and teams tweet the choices as soon as they are made.
So here’s an approximation on the Patriots, based on Twitter posts by the NFL during the past two drafts.
Pick No. 23: Approximately 10:45-11 p.m.
■ Last year, the Giants drafted Evan Engram at No. 23 at 10:48 p.m. In 2016, pick 23 came at 10:46 p.m. when the Vikings selected Laquon Treadwell.
Pick No. 31: Approx. 11:30-11:45 p.m.
■ Last year, the 49ers chose Reuben Foster with the 31st pick at 11:41 p.m. In 2016, the Seahawks chose Germain Ifedi at 11:39 p.m.