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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off in Cleveland Thursday night.

The action starts when the Draft Experience, an interactive football theme park around FirstEnergy Stadium, opens at noon. Free reservations are required the NFL OnePass app.

Parking and traffic:

Normal Browns game day parking restrictions apply. That includes from Lakeside Avenue to Superior Avenue, and East 12th Street to Old River Road.

The following will be closed through 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 2:

  • Route 2 westbound from I-90 westbound at Dead Man’s Curve
  • Route 2 westbound exit to East 9th Street
  • Route 2 westbound exit to West 3rd Street
  • Exits along Route 2 eastbound into downtown, including Lakeside/West 6th Street, Easts 9th Street and the muni lot exits
  • West and East Mall Drive
  • East 9th Street from Lakeside to North Marginal
  • West 3rd Street from just north of Route 2 overpass

Access to the Jones Day/Northpoint garages will be available from Lakeside Avenue only. Access to the Summit parking lot and county garage will be available.

Tonight, there is a red carpet event and a performance by Kings of Leon before the first round starts at 8 p.m. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the first overall pick and expected to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 26 selection. It’s their lowest first-round pick, outside of trades, since 1995.

During free agency, the Browns focused on the defense. They signed defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, linebacker Anthony Walker, defensive end Takk McKinley and cornerback Troy Hill. But most experts still have Cleveland selecting a defensive player.

Browns picks:

  • First round: 26th overall
  • Second round: 59th overall
  • Third round: 89th overall and 91st overall (from the Saints)
  • Fourth round: 110th overall (from the Eagles) and 132nd overall
  • Fifth round: 169th overall (from the Rams)
  • Sixth round: 211th overall
  • Seventh round: 257th overall (from the Bills)