NFL Draft coming to Rock Island: What’s happening and why

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On Saturday, April 27, the National Football League will be making a draft pick in Rock Island.

Why? Because of the Quad Cities’ history with the NFL, producing an original franchise of the league, the Rock Island Independents.

History records show that the first documented season was 1907, but their first documented game was even earlier, in 1902.

Douglas Park in Rock Island was the home of the Independents.  The Rock Island Historical Society has a photo from around the year 1920. Click here to see it.

Related: Site of first NFL game in Rock Island to be home to new museum, park renovations

In 2019, the NFL is celebrating 100 years since the league was born.  The 2019 Draft is being done in commemoration of that milestone.

“There’s no better way to bring the league’s hundred years of history full circle than to partner with these communities and recognize their important place in history as part of the NFL’s centennial celebration,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell.

The Round 6 pick will be done from Augustana College.  In celebration of the day, there will be a 1920s-era vintage football game between “The Independents” and the “St. Paul Ideals.”

Rain is likely on Saturday, according to our StormTrack 8 meteorologists. Chief Meteorologist James Zahara says the highs won’t get out of the 40s.

Despite the downturn in weather, the game will go on, and the gates open at noon at the Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex.

The pick will happen between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  For the most up-to-date information about the event, you can call the city’s rain line at 309-732-7246.

Free overflow parking will be available at the MidAmerican Energy lot as well as the QCCA Expo Center Parking lot.

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