The NFL Draft had a record-breaking audience when Joe Burrow and Chase Young heard their names called Thursday night ... with an average of 15.6 MILLION people watching!
The league just announced the crazy numbers from Night 1 of the 3-day event ... touting a huge 37% increase from 2019.
And get this, the league claims the number ballooned to 19.6 MILLION watching from 8:45-9 PM. Wow!
Also worth noting ... the NFL says the top 3 metered markets were from Ohio -- Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Obviously, the fact the Cincinnati Bengals had the #1 overall pick -- and selected Ohio-native Joe Burrow had a lot to do with that.
The 2020 Draft completely wrecked the previous record held by the 2014 draft, which brought in an average of 12.4 million.
Rounds 2-7 will go down Friday and Saturday ... and it's safe to say those numbers will be high as well.
As for the 2020 NFL season, Roger Goodell says it's impossible to predict if they will be able to start on time ... but they're preparing for all possible situations.