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What are the requirements for 2023 NFL Draft eligibility?

There’s really just one simple rule to determine if players are eligible for the NFL Draft or not.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 28: A detailed view of the 2022 Draft logo during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft arrives on Thursday, April 27 from Kansas City as college football’s top prospects look to hear their names called from one of the NFL’s 32 franchises. The event will take place across seven rounds as teams look to add the next cornerstone to their franchise.

But the process of making the jump to the NFL is not a simple step. Prospects must first pass a list of criteria in order to be eligible, and only then are they permitted to begin the draft evaluation process.

The following NFL draft parameters were summarized from the NFL Operations “Rules of the Draft” breakdown, which can be found in full on the NFL’s dedicated site.

  • “In order to be eligible to enter the NFL Draft, a prospect must have been three years removed from high school and have used their college eligibility prior to the start of the next college football season. Underclassmen and players that have graduated early may request the league’s approval to enter the draft early.”
  • “Players are only draft-eligible in the year after the end of their college eligibility. Before the draft, NFL Player Personnel staff members confirm the eligibility of draft prospects and work with NCAA compliance departments at schools across the country to verify the information for all prospects.”
  • “The Player Personnel staff also reviews all of the applications submitted by players who want to enter the draft early. Underclassmen have until seven days following the NCAA National Championship Game to declare their intentions to do so.”
  • “Once players have become draft-eligible or have declared their intention to enter the draft early, the Player Personnel staff works with teams, agents, and schools to clarify the players’ status. They also work with agents, schools, scouts, and teams to enforce league rules for Pro Days (where NFL scouts come to colleges to observe prospects) and private workouts.”
  • “During the draft, Player Personnel staff confirm that all players who are drafted are draft-eligible”