How Much Do NFL Draft Picks Earn?

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) out of the shotgun, Georgia Bulldogs vs LSU Tigers, Football, Tiger Stadium, October 13, 2018, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer

By Jade Lewis

How Much Do NFL Draft Picks Earn?

The NFL Draft is an off-season event. It is when NFL teams—in reverse order of their wins from the previous season—will choose qualified players from college football to fill their rosters. They can choose any player who has expired his eligibility with his college team, or any player who can enter the draft early after filling out the necessary paperwork.

It is the main technique for teams to find new players to add to their team. The team that had the worst record during the previous season will have the advantage to choose from the year’s eligible college players.

The first round draft picks are supposed to be major contributors to their teams eventually. On the other hand, later rounds are used to look for potential sleepers and make selections to add depth to team rosters.

NFL Draft: Round 1

Spotrac broke down each pick’s current salary. In the table below, we will categorize the total value of picks first, and then the signing bonuses for Round 1.

Pick Number                  Total Value                        Signing Bonus
No. 1                                      $36,190,137                          $23,880,100
No. 2                                     $34,563,594                          $22,697,160
No. 3                                     $33,528,542                          $21,944,394
No. 4                                     $32,345,589                          $21,084,065
No. 5                                     $30,275,438                          $19,578,501
No. 6                                     $26,578,754                          $16,890,003
No. 7                                     $23,621,404                          $14,739,203
No. 8                                     $20,664,055                         $12,588,404
No. 9                                     $20,516,020                         $12,480,742
No. 10                                   $19,702,911                           $11,889,390
No. 11                                    $18,446,045                         $10,975,306
No. 12                                   $16,671,626                          $9,684,819
No. 13                                   $16,228,026                         $9,362,201
No. 14                                   $15,488,691                          $8,824,503
No. 15                                   $15,192,974                           $8,609,435
No. 16                                   $14,305,748                          $7,964,180
No. 17                                   $14,010,012                           $7,749,100
No. 18                                   $13,640,349                          $7,480,254
No. 19                                   $13,418,540                          $7,318,938
No. 20                                  $13,344,613                          $7,265,173
No. 21                                   $13,270,677                          $7,211,401
No. 22                                  $13,122,805                          $7,103,858
No. 23                                  $12,974,941                          $6,996,321
No. 24                                  $12,679,205                          $6,781,240
No. 25                                  $12,531,342                           $6,673,703
No. 26                                  $12,383,451                           $6,566,146
No. 27                                  $12,235,606                          $6,458,623
No. 28                                 $12,161,670                            $6,404,851
No. 29                                  $11,568,389                          $5,973,374
No. 30                                  $11,254,207                          $5,744,878
No. 31                                  $10,991,030                          $5,553,476
No. 32                                 $10,821,572                           $5,430,234

The earlier a player gets picked, the bigger the salary and signing bonus. As you can see from the table, there is a sizable gap in millions between pick number 1 and pick number 32. This is due to each player’s draft stock, which is an unofficial ranking and it plays a big role in the decision-making process of the NFL team’s picks.

The draft stock is not only based on how well a player plays. It takes into account the overall image of the player as it can affect the team’s reputation.

NFL Draft: Round 2

In the first round, the pay structure varies quite a bit. Evaluating rounds two through seven of the draft, players received contracts that are much closer in overall value. Below is a general breakdown of the second round according to Spotrac.

Pick Range                                                 Total Value                                               Signing Bonus
Picks 33-41                                            $8,686,785 to $7,829,150                             $3,877,662 to $3,253,927
Picks 42-48                                           $7,696,069 to $6,764,507                               $3,157,141 to $2,479,641
Picks 49-64                                            $6,616,625 to $5,241,473                              $2,372,091 to $1,371,980

NFL Draft: Round 3

Pick Range                                                  Total Value                                               Signing Bonus
Picks 65-74                                             $4,934,802 to $4,690,473                              $1,156,794 to $1,059,047
Picks 75-92                                              $4,665,949 to $4,256,337                             $1,048,560 to $887,863
Picks 93-106                                           $4,228,364 to $4,057,646                                 $877,665 to $832,295

NFL Draft: Round 4-7

Round                                                          Total Value                                                Signing Bonus
Round 4                                                   $3,452,512 to $3,129,401                                  $817,512 to $494,401
Round 5                                                  $2,989,474 to $2,872,772                                 $354,474 to $237,772
Round 6                                                  $2,846,883 to $2,764,413                                 $211,883 to $129,413
Round 7                                                   $2,748,695 to $2,710,490                                 $113,695 to $75,490

As the rounds dwindle down to the 7th and last round, each football player’s draft stock and signing bonus lessen down as well. However, you must remember that playing in the NFL is a privilege that not all college football players get to achieve.

Draft Your Own Picks
Did you know that it is also possible for non-football executive people like you and I to draft our own picks?

If you’re still not familiar with fantasy football, it’s a Daily Fantasy Sports game where you can create fake teams that involve selecting real players. You earn points based on real players’ performances as they play football games.

There are many platforms that can get you started – with FanDuel and DraftKings leading the pack. Read this FanDuel vs DraftKings review, which you can use as a basis when choosing the more superior one.