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NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is living and breathing Philadelphia Freedom this week. Philadelphia hosted the first draft in 1936 and part of 11 others, but none since 1961, until now.

More than half of the drafts have been in New York City, but a total of seven cities have played host. After conducting the draft in Chicago the past two years and shifting to Philadelphia this year, the NFL seems intent on making this a traveling show. The 2018 draft will likely be in Dallas, according to ESPN. Green Bay has made a pitch to host in 2019, 2020 or 2021, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has applied for 2019 or 2020, according to the Canton Repository. And Los Angeles, which has already been awarded Super Bowl LV in 2021 at the new stadium in Inglewood, is expected to get a draft.

At least through 2017, these are the seven cities to shine the light on NFL draft picks.

Milwaukee (1)

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Milwaukee (1)

The Milwaukee Badgers played lasted just five seasons in the NFL with 1926 being the last. But the Green Bay Packers, who joined the NFL in 1921, had a regular presence in Milwaukee starting in 1933. In fact, the Packers hosted the 1939 NFL championship game, in which they beat the Giants, in a Milwaukee suburb. (The Packers played two regular-season home games each season in Milwaukee until 1952 when it became three games. That lasted until 1994 when the team decided to play exclusively at Lambeau Field.) Milwaukee hosted the draft in 1940, and Chicago (which is closer to Milwaukee than Green Bay is) then had two teams, and the Cardinals selected George Cafego with the first overall pick. The Cardinals missed on two future Hall of Famers: George McAfee was selected No. 2 by the Eagles and Clyde "Bulldog" Turner went No. 7 to the Bears.

Washington D.C. (1)

Al Bello/Getty Images Washington D.C. (1)

Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and much of the world was at war when NFL executives descended upon the Willard Hotel in December 1940 for the 1941 draft. The Redskins had the No. 10 pick, last in the first round. The lone Washington draft is mostly forgettable other than Heisman Trophy winner and Michigan legend Tom Harmon going No. 1 to the Bears. He declined to sign a contract and became an actor instead. After roughly a year of acting, Harmon became a military pilot, fighting in both North Africa and Asia during World War II. In 1946, he returned to football and played two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Meanwhile, ninth-round pick Tony Canadeo was the only Hall of Famer selected. The Gonzaga product played with the Packers from 1941-1952, but he missed most of the 1944 season and all of 1945 to fight in the war.

Los Angeles (1)

Harry How/Getty Images Los Angeles (1)

The 1956 NFL Draft moved the first three rounds up to November 1955 to compete with Canadian rivals. This portion of the draft took place in Philadelphia, but the following 27 rounds were hosted in January at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Pittsburgh (2)

Chris McGrath/Getty Images Pittsburgh (2)

The Steel City hosted its first draft in 1948 at the Fort Pitt Hotel, where Harry Gilmer, Bobby Layne, Y.A. Tittle and Dan Edwards were all selected. The following year, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia shared the draft, with the Western Pennsylvania portion taking place at the Hotel Schenley.

Chicago (9)

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Chicago (9)

Chicago hosted seven of the first 29 NFL Drafts with one at the Sherman House Hotel, two at the Palmer House Hotel and four at the Blackstone Hotel. The most recent two NFL Drafts were split between the Auditorium Theatre and Grant Park.

Philadelphia (13)

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Philadelphia (13)

This year will be the 13th time that at least a part of the NFL Draft has been hosted in Philadelphia. Philly hosted the first draft in 1936 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where Jay Berwanger, the inaugural Heisman Trophy winner, went first overall to the Eagles. Berwanger was traded to the Bears and never played an NFL game. The Racquet Club of Philadelphia hosted one draft in 1950, but the Bellevue Stratford Hotel and then the Warwick Hotel became the established homes of Philly drafts. The last draft in the City of Brotherly Love was 1961 when the Vikings took Tommy Mason with the No. 1 overall pick. Meanwhile, the first Hall of Famer selected was Mike Ditka, who went to the Bears at No. 5.

New York City (57)

Chris McGrath/Getty Images New York City (57)

New York hosted in 1937, 1939, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1952 and 1955. Then starting in 1965, it hosted for 50 consecutive years with the New York Sheraton, New York Marriott Marquis, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall each getting at least six cracks at the big stage. While the NFL is expected to parade the draft around the country the next few years, New York is interested in getting back into the rotation.

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