It’s that time of year again for NFL fans when the National Football League draft gives teams the chance to find new talent from college football’s best players. Aside from trading players and free-agent signings, it’s the league’s most common method of adding new players to their roster. If you want to see how the event plays out for the rookies, this guide will show you how to watch the NFL draft online.
- The NFL draft is being aired on ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network. You can stream it online or via the apps, but you need to have a cable or satellite subscription.
- Live TV streaming services such as fuboTV and YouTube TV include those channels, and many services have a free trial available.
- If you’re not in the U.S., you’ll need to use a VPN to bypass geoblocks. We recommend using ExpressVPN.
This year, the NFL draft will take place at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders — the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a first in NFL league history, though it should have been hosted there back in 2020.
The 2020 NFL draft ended up being a virtual event after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Then, because Cleveland had already been awarded the 2021 NFL draft, it was decided that Las Vegas would host the event in 2022. Keep reading for all the details you need to get yourself the NFL draft live stream from anywhere — and for free.
The NFL draft coverage is available on ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network. You can stream it online via the website and apps provided you have a valid TV provider subscription. You can also sign up to a streaming service and watch it that way.
Unfortunately, the only way you can watch the NFL draft online for free is by taking advantage of a streaming service’s free trial, such as YouTube TV or fuboTV.
Basic Details: When & How to Watch the NFL Draft Online
There are seven rounds to the 2022 NHL draft over three days. The first round of the draft takes place on Thursday, April 28, at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). Round two continues on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). It finishes on Saturday, April 30, with rounds four through seven starting at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT).
|Round 1||Thursday, April 28, 2022||8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT|
|Round 2-3||Friday, April 29, 2022||7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT|
|Rounds 4-7||Saturday, April 30, 2022||12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT|
If you have a cable TV or satellite subscription, the NFL draft will be aired on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the NFL Network. If you want to watch it online, you can go to the channel’s website or app and log in with your TV provider credentials.
You can read our comprehensive guide on how to watch ESPN to learn more. While still at it, be sure to check out our best VPN for ESPN.
Keep in mind, though, that you can only do this if you’re in the U.S. due to regional restrictions. If you’re outside the country, you can easily get past such geoblocks by using a virtual private network. A VPN will assign you a U.S. IP address, making the service think that you’re actually located in the United States. (Jump to steps on how to watch the NFL draft online with a VPN.)
Important 2022 NFL Draft Statistics
With the draft edging nearer, high-ranking players have already been named, with top picks that include Aidan Hutchinson, Kyle Hamilton and Ickey Ekwonu. There are 32 or more picks for each of the seven rounds, for a total of 262 picks this year — the most seen since 2003.
For the second year running, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the number one overall pick. In 2021, their number one pick — Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence — was more predictable.
This year, there are several player options that make sense for the team, so there’s no sure way that they’ll go. No matter what the prospects look like, the day itself could provide some unforeseen surprises.
Where to Stream the NFL Draft
Like we said earlier, you can watch the NFL draft live stream online via the ABC, ESPN and NFL Network websites or apps, but you’ll need a valid TV provider login to do so.
NFL Draft: Live Stream
Alternatively, you can subscribe to a live TV streaming service that includes those channels, such as the ones we’ve listed below.
- Hulu + Live TV — ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network. It costs $69.99 per month and includes Disney Plus and ESPN+ (which will have additional NFL draft content).
- fuboTV — ESPN, ESPN HD Deportes, ABC and the NFL Network. Price starts at $69.99 per month, and there’s a seven-day free trial.
- YouTube TV — ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network. It costs $64.99 per month and has a seven-day trial.
- Sling TV — ESPN and the NFL Network are included in the Orange package. It costs $35 per month.
- Vidgo — The Plus bundle includes ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the NFL Network. It costs $53 per month.
How to Watch the NFL Draft Online for Free
The only way to watch the NFL draft for free is by using a streaming service’s free trial, such as fuboTV or YouTube TV. This section will show you how to sign up for a free seven-day trial with fuboTV and stream the NFL draft online.
- Go to fuboTV’s Website
Click on “start free trial” on fuboTV’s website.
- Create a fuboTV Account
To create a fuboTV account, enter your details and click “continue.”
- Choose the Plan You Want
Choose a plan (Pro or Elite) and click “continue.” The Latino plan doesn’t include a free trial.
- Choose the Payment Frequency
Choose whether you want to pay monthly or quarterly.
- Enter Your Payment Information
Enter your payment information and click “submit.”
- Choose Your Upgrades
Choose whether you want to add any upgrades. If you don’t, click “skip, I’ll do this later.”
- Complete Your Profile
To complete your profile, click on “my profile,” follow the steps to set it up and click “continue.”
- Watch the NFL Draft Online
Use the search bar to find the channel you want to use to stream the NFL draft. In this case, we searched for the NFL Network. Then, click on the channel to stream it.
How to Watch the NFL Draft Online From Anywhere
Bypassing geoblocks with a VPN is simple, and the following steps will show you how to do it.
If you need to use a VPN for free to bypass geoblocks, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s or NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee, or Windscribe’s free plan.
- Sign Up to a VPN
Sign up to a VPN and install it on your device — we recommend ExpressVPN.
- Connect to a U.S. Server
Find and connect to a U.S. server.
- Go to fuboTV and Start Streaming
Go to fuboTV — or any other streaming service you’ve chosen — and start streaming the NFL draft.
The Best VPNs for the NFL Draft
To have the best streaming experience, a VPN needs to have top speeds and the ability to bypass streaming service restrictions. We’ve listed the top VPNs for streaming the NFL draft online.
- Large server network, with plenty in the U.S.
- Bypasses geoblocks easily
- Fastest speeds
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming. It can bypass the geoblocks of all major streaming services and has the fastest speeds around to make sure you don’t suffer from buffering while streaming sports.
The VPN can be installed on pretty much any device, so you can stream the NFL draft at home or on the go. Plus, there are 24 server locations in the U.S., so you won’t have trouble finding a server that works.
A downside to ExpressVPN is its price. It’s expensive, but if you opt for a long-term plan, you’ll bring the cost down. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on. Read more in our ExpressVPN review.
- Huge server network, including the U.S.
- Fast NordLynx protocol
- Gets past geoblocks easily
- Expensive monthly plan
NordVPN is another top VPN provider, but it just loses out to ExpressVPN because of its slightly slower speeds. That said, using its NordLynx protocol — its own take on WireGuard — supplies faster speeds and is enough to provide a decent streaming experience. It can also get past geoblocks easily and has servers in 15 U.S. locations to access the NFL draft.
NordVPN is an affordable VPN as long as you opt for a long-term plan. Its two-year plan costs less than $4 per month and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you don’t like it. Read our NordVPN review for more information.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Free plan (10GB data per month)
- U.S. servers on the free plan
- .Gets past most geoblocks
- Limited locations on the free plan
- Slower speeds
Windscribe is a great VPN that offers a limited free plan with 10GB of free data per month. The free plan includes the use of its U.S. servers, though the number of locations there is limited.
That said, it can still get into most streaming servers and if you want to have access to more servers, its build-a-plan option lets you choose individual server locations for $1 each per month.
Also, keep in mind that you could easily eat through the free 10GB of data while streaming. That can be rectified, though, by adding unlimited data to your plan for an extra $1 per month. Windscribe’s speeds are a little slower than our first picks, but you can still have a decent streaming experience. Read our Windscribe review for more details.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
Final Thoughts: Stream the NFL Draft
If you want to watch the NFL draft online, there are a few ways you can do it. ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the NFL Network are all streaming it on their websites and apps, but you need to log in with your TV provider. Streaming services such as fuboTV and YouTube TV can get you access to those channels and many have a free trial available.
You’ll need to use a VPN, though, if you’re outside the U.S., and we recommend using ExpressVPN due to its fast speeds and top streaming experience. Otherwise, we have a list of the best free VPN services for sports.
As a bonus, read our guide on how to watch NFL games online or how to watch the Rugby World Cup.
What method are you using to watch the NFL draft? Have you used a VPN to access a streaming service? Which VPN did you use? Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading.