Drafting Etiquette

Is it appropriate for me to play a draft if I'm not familiar with the cards?  I've never drafted before, although I know the rules, but I have a hard time learning cards just by looking at the set.  I need to play it.  Should I just dive right in?
I would personally suggest that you check out YouTube videos on drafting. There are many skilled drafters who record their games and then explain why they made the choices that they did.

For example, if you are looking to draft Zendikar or Alara, I would suggest that you check out the drafting videos by Luis Scott Vargas. You can find his videos on Channel Fireball here.
98de6927a936e102b1ac9a0de5585ebd.jpg?v=52000
I've seen them.  I'm pretty confident in my abilities to pick the right cards.  I'm just worried about annoying people by reading every new card I see.
Well, if you've watched all of the videos, I'm not precisely sure how there could still be cards in the set that you have not seen.

Regardless though, you are on a timer when you draft. This means that there is a maximum amount of time that someone will be required to wait on you while you are looking through your cards (and vice versa).

Meaning that you shouldn't worry about taking a long time and annoying people--you should be more concerned about taking a long time and having the timer run out on you, which will cause a random card to be chosen.

In most cases, I would advise taking the entire timer (which is, maximum, usually only about 2 minutes) to debate your choices, especially when first starting out.
98de6927a936e102b1ac9a0de5585ebd.jpg?v=52000
Those videos say a lot of things like "if someone plays this than this will help" but they don't actually go through what each card does, and the videos aren't high enough quality to be able to read and inspect each card.

I'm glad to hear about the timers.  2 minutes between each pick should be enough.

Thanks.
2 minutes between each pick should be enough.

Thanks.



Be aware that's only for the first pick in the pack! The timer gets progressively shorter the less cards there are to choose from. When there are only two cards left, I think it's like a 5 second clock.
"ForestDrake, CONNOISSEUR OF CRYPTIC WRITTINGS !" After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
You could try to practice with a draft simulator such as the one found at draft.bestiaire.org/.  It doesn't simulate the typical patterns of a draft perfectly, but it's a good way to become familiar with the cards from any set in a draft-like setting.