The 2011 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday evening, or late afternoon for those in the Western time zones. The action gets going officially at 5:04 p.m. (AZT) when the Carolina Panthers official get on the clock and prepare to take the Cam Newton. At 5:10, the Panthers will begin regretting their choice, a process that will last for the next several years as Newton joins a long line of number one pick busts.
In round 1, there is a full ten minutes between each pick which is plenty of time to make fun of anything. At that pace, the first round will last until about 9:00 p.m. That assumes, of course, that angry players who are mad at the owners over the labor issues don't storm the draft and conduct a sit-in. We are very much rooting for that to happen.
The second and third rounds of the draft don't start until Friday at 3:30 p.m. Arizona time (which is also known as Pacific Time). Picks are spaced out every seven minutes so this should only last about 17 hours. The rest of the draft -- rounds four through seven -- start on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Five minutes between each pick during this interminable stretch.
ESPN (main) and NFL Network will be providing live TV coverage of all three days of the draft. Check you local listings for channel information. (Or just start at channel 1 and start randomly flipping through until you find it.) We suggest you treat the draft like the Super Bowl and invite some friends over, eat too much crappy food, and drink a lot of beer. We guarantee that will improve your view experience.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 5 p.m. (AZT) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft or for Cardinals coverage, visit Revenge of the Birds.