Way back in 1936, the NFL held their first-ever draft and the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jay Berwanger, who had won the award that would later be renamed the Heisman Trophy.
Since then, the draft has evolved into an enormous television event that will occupy dozens of hours on both ESPN and the NFL Network over the next four days.
On the next few pages we will take a look back at some images that show just how much the draft has changed the last 50 years.
By the mid 1970s, players were attending the draft and holding up their new team's jersey. It also looks like the NFL was using an overhead projector to show the picks.
In the late 1980s, the draft looked more official, but it was still just using a cheap banner hanging from the rafters and a posterboard sign on the Marriot's podium
By 1997, the draft was starting to become a must-see event and a place for players to put their style on display
In maybe the most famous NFL Draft, many debated whether Ryan Leaf was better than Peyton Manning in 1998
The spectacle continues to build. In 2006, the top picks gathered on top of the marquee at Radio City Music Hall
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.