The 2022 NFL Draft kicked off Thursday in Las Vegas, and for the thousands in attendance, this was more than seeing the future of the franchise receive the cap and jersey of their new team.
Thursday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Clark County officials, and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis unveiled a street sign reading “Draft Drive'' along a portion of the Las Vegas Strip, where they have temporarily named Las Vegas Boulevard until the conclusion of the NFL Draft.
“I am beyond proud that Las Vegas is the first city to host the pro bowl, the draft, and the super bowl,” Gov. Sisolak said to the crowd. “There’s nowhere else where you can build a stage over the iconic Bellagio fountains. No one can do it like Nevada.”
Salute to Service
Raiders tight end Darren Waller joined defensive end Clelin Ferrell in appreciating veterans and active duty service members to an Allegiant Stadium tour.
Ferrell knows first-hand the sacrifices that the men and women in the armed services go through as he experienced them while both parents served in the U.S. Army.
Ferrell shared the experiences he endured growing up with his parents and what he learned from them, and the memories of him receiving the call from the Raiders on draft day.
The NFL had plans to host the NFL Draft two years ago in Las Vegas but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans in mind and the league was forced to postpone.
Fast forward to Thursday, and you see why the NFL was desperate to have the NFL Draft in Sin City.
NFL Draft Experience
Thousands of NFL fans flocked the world-famous strip, and casinos and worked their way to the NFL Draft Experience, the NFL's interactive football theme park, which will feature participatory games, food and beverage, and exclusive merchandise of the NFL Draft.
Located alongside Draft Theater behind the High Roller and The LINQ, adjacent to Caesars Forum, fans were able to run the 40-yard dash, take vertical jump against NFL players on LED screens and see a Super Bowl rings display plus the Raiders' Vince Lombardi Trophies from Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII, and have live autograph sessions with NFL players and Legends at the Panini Autograph Stage.
The main stage displayed Commissioner Goodell calling the first round of the NFL Draft.
At the conclusion of draft day, the NFL Concert Series showcased the American Rock band Weezer as the evening's headliner, as if the draft needed another main event.
Day Two is upon us, and fans will continue to enjoy the NFL Draft Experience's festivities and performances of many of the Las Vegas performers.
Rounds Two and Three will kick off at 7 p.m. ET, with the raiders selecting their first selection in the third round (No. 86 overall), and taking the stage after the draft is Raider Nation president and rap artist, Ice Cube.
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