The 1988 NFL Draft was held April 24-25, 1988 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The draft consisted of 12 rounds and 333 selections. The first round was only 27 selections long, because the Seahawks exercised their selection to choose Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth in the 1987 Supplemental Draft.

The Atlanta Falcons held the No. 1 overall selection and chose Auburn linebacker Aundray Bruce. As of the 2008 Draft, it's one of two times a linebacker has been selected first overall and one of two times an Auburn player has been selected first overall.

1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, a wide receiver from Notre Dame, was selected sixth overall by the then-Los Angeles Raiders.

The Patriots selected Northwestern State running back John Stephens 17th overall. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Former Missouri safety Erik McMillan was selected in the third round by the Jets and won Defensive Rookie of the Year.

As of 2009, two players from this draft class have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Miami (FL) WR Michael Irvin was selected 11th overall by the Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma State RB Thurman Thomas was selected 40th overall by the Buffalo Bills. Both were members of the Hall of Fame class of 2007.