Photo: USA Today
Photo: USA Today

The NFL draft will return to a live, in-person event in 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a virtual presentation in 2020. Cleveland will serve as the backdrop for the latest group of NFL hopefuls.

Though the draft can now be held in person, one thing that won't change from 2020 is the surplus of live streaming options, whether through cable subscriptions, apps or dedicated streaming sites. The 2021 NFL Draft — comprising 259 picks and seven rounds — will begin Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, running through Saturday. The event will be carried on cable via ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, depending on your viewing preferences. That means viewers will have multiple streaming options for the draft as well, including through ESPN and NFL's digital platforms.

NFL schedule release date 2021

The league is set to announce the 2021 slate of games for every NFL team on Wednesday, May 12.

The new-look schedule is going have 17 games on the docket, with an extra game added to the schedule in accordance with the 2020 CBA. It's the first expansion of the NFL's regular-season schedule since 1978.

NFL Draft live streams 2021

Photo: Bleacher Report
Photo: Bleacher Report

NFL Draft TV live streams can be found on YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now and fuboTV. All carry at least one of the channels broadcasting the 2021 NFL Draft.

Those with connected TV devices (such as Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku) can stream the NFL draft with the NFL, ABC or ESPN apps (with authentication from participating TV providers). Similar options are available for those with mobile devices and tablets, which also includes the NFL Network App.

Live streams of the NFL Draft will be available on computers and laptops, with authentication from participating TV providers, at NFL.com/Watch, WatchESPN and ABC.go.com.

Platform NFL Draft? Cable/satellite login needed?
YouTube TV Yes No
Hulu + Live TV Yes No
Sling TV Yes No
AT&T TV Now Yes No
AT&T Watch TV No
fuboTV Yes No
Xbox (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
PS4 (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Amazon Fire TV (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Android TV (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Apple TV (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Roku (NFL/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Mobile devices/tablets (NFL/NFLN/ABC/ESPN Apps) Yes Yes
Computers (NFL.com/watch, WatchESPN, ABC.go.com) Yes Yes

In Canada, the NFL Draft can be streamed live on DAZN. It includes NFL Network coverage and offers a free-trial period for new subscribers.

How to live steam the 2021 NFL Draft for free without cable

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Anybody with access to ABC, a broadcast TV network, can watch the entire NFL Draft for free without cable.

Those without a broadcast TV can stream the draft for free with YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and fuboTV using the services' trial options. (Cancel the subscription after the draft and be charged nothing).

Who has the toughest NFL schedule in 2021?

The Pittsburgh Steelers, coming off a 12-4 season, have the most difficult schedule to navigate in 2021.

In addition to playing a difficult AFC North, the Steelers have to tango with the Seahawks, Packers and Chiefs this year. The Seahawks were the 17th opponent added for the league's expanded schedule.

Home Away
Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns
Chicago Bears Buffalo Bills
Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions Kansas City Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders Los Angeles Chargers
Seattle Seahawks Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans

Who has the easiest NFL schedule in 2021?

Fly, Eagles, fly: Nick Sirianni and the Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest schedule for 2021.

Playing against a weak — but improving — NFC East, the Eagles also draw the Lions, Broncos and Jets. They do have some difficult home games, with the 49ers and defending champion Bucs entering the building.

Home Away
Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants New York Giants
Washington Football Team Washington Football Team
Kansas City Chiefs Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Chargers Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints Denver Broncos
San Francisco 49ers Detroit Lions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Las Vegas Raiders
New York Jets

NFL Draft TV schedule 2021

Round Day Date Start time TV channels
1 Thursday April 29 8 p.m. ET ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
2-3 Friday April 30 7 p.m. ET ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
4-7 Saturday April 31 Noon ET ESPN (ABC simulcast), NFL Network

The entire 2021 NFL Draft will broadcast live on three different TV networks: ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. ESPN Deportes also will present a Spanish edition of ESPN’s broadcast.

Anyone with broadcast TV can watch the draft on ABC, regardless of whether they have a cable subscription. All major cable networks carry ESPN (Xfinity channel 49) and NFL Network (Xfinity channel 265). Check your cable provider for channel listings in your specific viewing area.

ESPN Radio will provide full draft coverage, with Dari Nowkhah hosting NFL Front Office Insider Mike Tannenbaum and ESPN Radio’s Bart Scott on Days 1 and 2 and NFL Draft analyst Jim Nagy (Day 3). Reporter Ian Fitzsimmons will be featured throughout the three-day coverage.

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