NFL Draft Football

Fans attend the final day of the NFL football draft Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Any New Orleans NFL boycott efforts have clearly ended.

Despite the Saints' not having a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft and making just five selections total, the New Orleans market was rated the second highest for the three-day broadcast period.

New Orleans drew an 8.3 television rating, only second to host city Nashville at 10.6, according to data released by the NFL Monday morning. 

The next highest metered markets were Richmond, Virginia at 7.7, Cleveland at 6.9 and Columbus, Ohio at 6.9. Kansas City, Buffalo, Birmingham, Dayton and Milwaukee rounded out the top 10.  

The draft set records for viewership and attendance while using Nasvhille as its backdrop for the first time. Over three days the draft drew more than 600,000 people and 47.5 million viewers, according to the NFL. 

The ratings were up 5 percent from 2018's record-setting year, the first in which all seven rounds were broadcast on network TV.

High ratings for NFL broadcasts are nothing new for the New Orleans area despite being the 50th largest market, according to Neilsen data. In 2015 -- when the Saints possessed the No. 13 pick and selected nine players -- New Orleans clocked in as the top market.

But the latest data arrives just months after a boycott effort over the result of the NFC Championship that drove the city's ratings for Super Bowl 53 to historic lows. 

The Saints' trend of trading up in drafts could play a factor in keeping eyes glued to the screen. The Saints in 2018 pulled off a blockbuster trade to select Marcus Davenport at No. 14 overall. This year they traded up in the second round to select center Erik McCoy at No. 48 overall, then again in the fourth round to select safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson at 105 overall. 

New Orleans' five selections made had them tied with the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles for the fewest out of all 32 teams.

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Marcus Davenport
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Ryan Ramczyk
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Brandin Cooks
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Stephone Anthony
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Mark Ingram