ESPN at the 2009 NFL Draft
ESPN is televising the NFL Draft (April 25-26) for the 30th consecutive year in 2009 – and for the first time in high definition. Draft-related content will be available across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN International which will make Day 1 coverage of this year’s event available to more than 36 million households in 119 countries and territories. ESPN NFL Draft coverage highlights:
ESPN and ESPN2 will combine for more than 16 hours of live NFL Draft coverage. Chris Berman, Mel Kiper, Jr., Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young will be on the main set in Radio City on Day 1. Trey Wingo and Herm Edwards, and NFL insider Chris Mortensen, will report from additional sets. Reporter Erin Andrews will conduct green room interviews. ESPN Scouts Inc. director of college scouting Todd McShay will contribute from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.
- Team site reporters include: David Amber (at Buffalo), Pedro Gomez (Arizona), Rachel Nichols (Detroit), Wendi Nix (New England), Sal Paolantonio (N.Y. Jets-Day 1/Philadelphia-Day 2), and Ed Werder (Denver).
- SportsCenter Special: On the Clock at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday will kickoff ESPN’s comprehensive coverage. The five-hour pre-Draft line-up will include host Mike Tirico with Suzy Kolber and a team of analysts and experts in Bristol. The NFL Draft telecast will begin at 4 p.m.
- ESPN will televise all eight hours on Day 2 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Wingo will host from Radio City with Edwards, Ron Jaworski, Kiper and Mortensen. Kolber will co-host from Bristol with Cris Carter, Trent Dilfer, Tom Jackson, McShay, and Michael Smith.
- Live remotes: Correspondent Shelley Smith will be live on draft day in southern California with USC quarterback Mark Sanchez for the moment he is selected by an NFL team. In all, ESPN will have live remotes with 17 players in this year’s draft class, including the top four running backs — Chris “Beanie” Wells (Ohio St.), Knowshon Moreno (Georgia), Donald Brown (Connecticut), and LeShon McCoy (Pittsburgh) – in order to capture their reactions to being picked.
- High Definition: ESPN’s draft coverage will be presented in HD for the first time this year and will offer a redesigned compression graphics format.
- More than 175 player highlight packages have been prepared for this year, and the telecast will highlight popular ESPN technical innovations, including the perceptive pixel touch screen (which McShay will utilize), EA Virtual Playbook, and ESPN Axis technology.
ESPNEWS will supplement its overall sports news coverage with eight hours of “On the Clock” team-by-team previews, beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. McShay, ESPN Scouts Inc. director of NFL scouting Jeremy Green and others will analyze one NFL division per hour — 10 minutes “On the Clock” per team concluding with the Detroit Lions. Once the Draft begins on ESPN at 4 p.m., ESPNEWS, along with its coverage of other sports news of the day, will provide expanded NFL Draft coverage with host Kolber and analysts Carter, Dilfer, Jackson and Jesse Palmer providing analysis and reactions to picks until 6 p.m. Coverage will continue until midnight, including interviews with coaches, general managers and players. On Day 2, Draft-related content on ESPNEWS will kick off at 1 p.m. and will continue throughout the day. On Monday at noon, ESPNEWS will have an NFL Draft special highlighting the NFL Draft winners and losers.
ESPN.com’s 2009 NFL Draft section includes comprehensive coverage leading up to and throughout the weekend. Pre-draft highlights:
- Analysis and insight from experts Kiper, McShay, John Clayton, Jeffri Chadiha, Len Pasquarelli and Scouts Inc., as well as from all eight NFL division bloggers;
- Scouts Inc. reports on approximately 350 prospects through ESPN’s DraftTracker; Kiper’s Big Board; “On the Clock:” a look at each team’s draft possibilities by ESPN’s division bloggers; regularly updated mock drafts; and reports on individual workouts and evaluations of each team’s draft needs and potential strategies;
- ESPN.com also presents the Ultimate Mock Draft by Page 2 columnist Gregg Easterbrook.
DraftCast will allow users to follow and interact with this year’s draft in a variety of ways:
- DraftTracker — pick-by-pick data in real time; live blogging and team reviews from all eight NFL division bloggers; reports from Chadiha and Clayton; video breakdowns of every first-round pick by Jeremy Green of ESPN Scouts Inc.; Kiper’s three good moves, three bad moves after Day 1; and Scouts Inc. list of best available players and updated free-agent tracker after Day 1.
- ESPN.com will provide analysis and commentary with an unprecedented number of writers covering from Radio City and select team sites, including NFL divisional bloggers Matt Mosley (Radio City), Pat Yasinskas (Tampa), Mike Sando (Seattle), James Walker (Cleveland), Bill Williamson (Denver), Paul Kuharsky (Tennessee), Kevin Seifert (Detroit) and Tim Graham (Miami), as well as columnists Clayton (Radio City) and Chadiha (Kansas City). The Scouts Inc. team of Green, McShay, Keith Kidd, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl will also provide pick-by-pick analysis and participate in live chats;
- News and feature coverage throughout both days from staff writers and analysts;
- Post-draft coverage will include Kiper’s team-by-team draft grades and an assessment of each pick by Scouts, Inc.
The NFL Draft marks the introduction of ESPNDB, a sports encyclopedia-style content database powered by ESPN Stats & Information group and integrated on ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile, ESPN Video, ESPN Search and more, offering more than 500 pages of content. During the draft, ESPNDB will have content updated in real-time before, during and after the draft. Content highlights:
- Detailed profiles of all NFL Draft-eligible players (approx. 400);
- Dedicated pages cataloging every modern era NFL Draft (1967-present);
- Dedicated team pages for all 32 NFL clubs;
- Sortable database of NFL combine results from the past five years;
- Dedicated pages for Senior Bowl, Shrine Game and other Draft topics.
In addition, ESPNDB will feature a unique new clickable video interface powered by VideoClix, which allows users to receive additional information about people, places and things in the video while they watch. With more than 30 video clips of projected top draft picks (including college highlights, commentary and feature material) fans can mouse over various images on-screen, which activates a box containing additional editorial information.
ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman and Clayton will host ESPN Radio’s NFL Draft Day 1 coverage from Radio City Music Hall, joined by Ryen Rusillo who will host from the network’s Bristol, Conn., studios. Day 1 coverage begins at 3 p.m. and will continue through the second round. Jon Stashower will host the ESPN Radio Draft Preview Show from 1-3 p.m. ET on Saturday.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will join co-hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning Friday, April 24, at 8:10 a.m.
ESPN Mobile will give fans on-the-go access to draft-related news and information:
- ESPN’s mobile web site features a draft section complete with video, player profiles, analysis and breaking news. ESPN.com’s favorite columnists are highlighted as well as player skill breakdowns from the experts at Scouts Inc.;
- ESPN Mobile TV will offer vignettes and features all week and throughout each draft round;
- ESPN’s MVP subscribers will get one-touch access to draft-related news, information and video.
ESPN International will offer coverage of Day 1 of the NFL Draft (same as the domestic telecast) to more than 36 million households in 119 countries and territories on ESPN2 (Mexico), ESPN2 Caribbean (English-speaking Caribbean), ESPN Latin America-Brazil, ESPN Africa, ESPN Middle East, ESPN Israel, ESPN HD Australia, ESPN Pacific Rim (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands), ESPN America in NFL cleared territories, the only European network dedicated to broadcasting the best North American sports, and TSN (Canada).
ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, is presenting extensive draft-related content throughout the week by replaying college football games featuring several of the top 2009 prospects, including Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), Mark Sanchez (USC), and Matthew Stafford (Georgia), among others. Post-draft coverage will include re-airs of 2008 games featuring “Draft Sleepers” from McShay’s sleeper list, including Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond), Brian Hoyer (Michigan State) and Cedric Peerman (Virginia). Games will air Monday, April 27 at 2 p.m. through Tuesday at 11:30 p.m.
ESPN Classic is featuring current and legendary NFL stars ‘before they were pros’ by televising their classic college games April 13-24. The eventual NFL stars used the college games on the list to showcase their talents for scouts and coaches, better positioning themselves for the NFL Draft. Players to be featured this week include Marion Barber (April 22, 5 p.m.), Maurice Jones-Drew (April 23, 3 p.m.), Adrian Peterson (April 23, 5 p.m.), and Darren McFadden (April 24, 5 p.m.).
Through mid-May, ESPN360.com is replaying memorable games from the 2008 college football season that feature top offensive players in the 2009 NFL Draft first round. Some of the players highlighted include: Matthew Stafford (Georgia), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), Mark Sanchez (USC), Chris “Beanie” Wells (Ohio State), Percy Harvin (Florida) and Knowshon Moreno (Georgia).
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft Preview includes a cover-page feature on Texas Tech’s highly-touted receiver Michael Crabtree, the projected early first round draft pick who was diagnosed with a stress fracture earlier this year. In What’s All the Fuss?, Seth Wickersham writes Crabtree will still be a top 10 pick because of his “complete dominance in college.” The issue also includes features on former West Virginia quarterback Pat White, Miami cornerback Bruce Johnson (the only Hurricanes player in the draft), and five promising mid-round draft prospects — Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Ian Johnson (Boise State), Jarett Dillard (Rice), Marcus Freeman (Ohio State) and Mitch King (Iowa). The issue also features the ultimate Draft glossary from “Acceleration” to “Zone-Stretch Runner.”
ESPN The Magazine will host the sixth annual Ultimate Pre-Draft Party on Friday, April 24 at ESPACE, New York City. The party will feature DJ Spinderella and a special live performance by multi-platinum and Grammy nominated rapper Fabolous. Invited members of the 2009 Draft Class include Donald Brown (UConn), Crabtree (Texas Tech), Aaron Curry (Wake Forest), Brian Cushing (USC) and Matthew Stafford (Georgia), among others. Other invited guests to The Magazine’s exclusive event include Laz Alonso (actor), Adrienne Bailon (Cheetah Girls), Michael Boley (N.Y. Giants), Matt Cassel (Chiefs), Vernon Davis (49ers) and other athletes and celebrities.