NFL's 'Draft-A-Thon LIVE' Helps Raise More Than $6 Million for COVID-19 Relief

Author:
Publish date:

The NFL's "Draft-A-Thon Live" helped raise $6.6 million during the 2020 NFL draft, contributing to the collective total of more than $100 million raised by the NFL to support COVID-19 relief efforts, NFL Media said in a statement Sunday. 

The league's annual three-day event was the most-watched draft ever, with 55 million viewers.

All three days set all-time highs, with Thursday's viewership (average audience of 15.6 million viewers) up 37%, Friday's viewership (8.2 million viewers) up 40% and Saturday's viewership (4.2 million viewers) up 32%. 

"I couldn't be more proud of the efforts and collaboration of our clubs, league personnel, and our partners to conduct an efficient Draft and share an unforgettable experience with millions of fans during these uncertain times," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "This Draft is the latest chapter in the NFL's storied history of lifting the spirit of America and unifying people. In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of so many talented young men, we were pleased that this unique Draft helped shine a light on today's true heroes—the healthcare workers, first responders, and countless others on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. We are also grateful to all those who contributed to the NFL family's fundraising efforts."

The Bengals selected quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick, while Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert also were drafted in the top 10.

The virtual component additionally took centerstage throughout the event, with Goodell himself basking in the experience by changing his wardrobe midway through the first round on Thursday night and taking part in an interview with ESPN on Sunday while lounging in a chair, wearing just a t-shirt. 

Henry Ruggs III also celebrated his first-round selection by the Raiders in his bathrobe, while Tagovailoa decided he didn't need a red carpet to rock his draft day suit. On night two, Guy Fieri took the draft on a detour to Flavortown and Bill Belichick's dog stepped in to make a second-round pick for the Patriots.

The 2021 NFL draft is set to take place in Cleveland. 

Everything You Need to Know About the NFL Draft: Sign up for Sports Illustrated’s newsletters and get complete NFL Draft coverage and analysis -- delivered right to your inbox.