TOMBSTONE — Next month’s NFL Draft may be officially happening in Nashville, but the Arizona Cardinals intend to announce several of their draft picks from Tombstone, a team official confirmed Wednesday.
The draft will be held April 25 through April 27. Live coverage will be provided by ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes.
Round one of the draft will occur April 25, followed by rounds two and three the next night, and then rounds four through seven throughout the day April 27. It’s the third day of picks the Cardinals will announce from historic Allen Street in Tombstone, according to Tim Beach, the Cardinals’ senior director of special events.
“Every year we try to feature what is great about the state of Arizona,” Beach told the Herald/Review. “As Arizona’s football team, being able to highlight Tombstone — and Cochise County — is what we’re all about.”
Due to their league-worst record (3-13) this past season, the Cardinals are scheduled to pick first in rounds one through six. Beach noted that means the live coverage on day three will quickly switch from Nashville to Tombstone for the Cardinals’ fourth-round pick.
It will be the first of seven picks the team will announce throughout the day from Tombstone, where the team plans to have kid-friendly games, visits with team alumni and cheerleaders, and a supersized screen for an expected crown of thousands.
“I think it’s great that the Cardinals chose Tombstone,” Mayor Dusty Escapule said Wednesday. “It will be exciting for Tombstone and all of the county.”
Escapule has been working with the team for several weeks to coordinate the event, which is being hosted by the Cardinals and the city. Allen Street will be shut down from Third to Fourth streets starting Friday to accommodate production crews and the crowd.
This isn’t the first time the Cardinals have gone on the road for the NFL Draft. The last two years the team announced their late-round picks in various locations in the city of Winslow in Navajo County. The crowd size last year surpassed 3,000, according to the Winslow Police Department.
Each of the league’s 32 teams starts each NFL year with an allotment of one pick in each of the draft’s seven rounds, though picks are often traded between teams. The NFL also allocated some teams additional picks as compensation for free-agency losses, for a total of 254 draft slots this year.
The Cardinals previously gave up its seventh-round selection but obtained several picks through trades, coaching deals and free agency credits. As a result, the team has an additional pick in round six and will have three late picks in the seventh round.
One such pick was added when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who retired from the Cardinals but was still under contract. Another pick was given up by the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of a trade that sent offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert to Arizona earlier this month.
The Cardinals recently met with quarterback Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oklahoma. The team has announced plans to interview and hold workouts with several other prospects.
The newly drafted players will join wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is returning to the Cardinals for his 16th season. Fitzgerald was the team’s first-round pick in 2004.
ESPN and the NFL Network will provide more sports-oriented coverage of the draft, while ABC plans to broadcast a “more entertainment-oriented format” with extended draftee and team profiles, along with musical performances, according to an NFL press release. Last year’s coverage was seen by 5.5 million viewers.