Nearly three million people tuned in to watch the 2018 NFL draft

Even in the offseason, football finds a way to draw in viewers. The numbers are in, and the 2018 NFL draft on ESPN averaged nearly three million viewers.

At times, ratings were even higher, according to ESPN. Though the first round took place on Thursday, ESPN averaged over five million viewers that night. That figured dropped to 1.6 million Friday night, and then rebounded to 2.2 million viewers for Day 3.

That 2.2 million average was the most-watched Day 3 of the draft ever, according to ESPN. Ratings may have been up simply due the final day of the draft airing on a weekend. Though fans may have tuned in to see where Shaquem Griffin was selected. And to be disappointed by the parrot that was supposed to announce the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pick.

The top market for the 2018 NFL draft is probably not a city you would expect, but it makes a ton of sense once you think about it. Columbus led the way, averaging 4.4 million viewers throughout the event. The Cleveland Browns not only held the No. 1 overall pick, but they also picked No. 4 overall. On both Friday and Saturday, the Browns again had the first pick of the day. The Browns wound up trading away that third-round pick, but still picked early in the round.

With the Browns snagging quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, you knew Cleveland fans were going to watch the draft in its entirety to see what else they put around their next possible franchise savior.

The 2018 NFL draft was a must-watch event. (AP Photo)
The 2018 NFL draft was a must-watch event. (AP Photo)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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