There have been a few instances in which teams haven't made their picks in time.
When teams make picks in the NFL draft, they're up against the clock.
Teams get 10 minutes to make their selections in the first round, 7 minutes in the second, 5 minutes in rounds 3-6 and four minutes in the seventh. Typically, teams have no problems making their picks during the allotted time. There have been a few rare cases in which teams don't turn in picks when the clock hits triple zeroes, however. Here's what happens, as described by the NFL's Operations website:
"If a team lets its time expire without making a choice, it can make a selection later — but it runs the risk of letting the next team on the clock take the player it was considering."
So, for example, if the Cardinals, which hold the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, let the 10 minutes expire once the draft begins Thursday, the 49ers, which hold the No. 2 overall pick, would then move up to the first pick and could take any player in the draft. The Cardinals could then jump back in and make the second-overall pick after the 49ers have made the first.
In 2011, the Ravens held the No. 26 pick in the draft, and they didn't make a pick when their 10 minutes ran out. The Ravens thought they had made a trade with the Bears, but the Bears didn't call the trade in to the league, so it wasn't official and didn't get done before the time ran out. The Chiefs then jumped up from pick 27 to pick 26 and took Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin. The Ravens quickly got their pick in after the Chiefs, and selected Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith with the No. 27 pick (who they claim they would've picked anyway at 26).
In 2003, the Ravens were involved again in this kind of situation, but on the other side. The Vikings held the No. 7 pick, and had agreed to trade the pick to the Ravens to move down three spots to No. 10. The Ravens didn't call the league to confirm the deal, and the time ran out before the Vikings had a chance to make a pick. The Jaguars moved up a spot and took Byron Leftwich, and then the Panthers moved up from No. 9 to No. 8 to take offensive tackle Jordan Gross. The Vikings finally jumped back in at No. 9, two picks after their original draft slot, and picked defensive tackle Kevin Williams.