ESPN Coverage of the 2010 NFL Draft
ESPN is televising the NFL Draft (April 22-24) for the 31st consecutive year in 2010 – and for the first time in its new primetime format: Round 1 – Thurs., April 22 (7:30 p.m., ESPN) and Rounds 2-3 – Fri., April 23 (6 p.m., ESPN/switches to ESPN2). Draft-related content will be available across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS, ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile, ESPNU, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Classic and ESPN International. Highlights:
ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise all 15 hours of the 2010 NFL Draft in high definition, as well as 20 hours of SportsCenter Special shows during NFL Draft week. On Days 1 (Thurs., April 22) and 2 (Fri., April 23), Chris Berman will again host ESPN’s coverage with Jon Gruden, Tom Jackson, Mel Kiper, Jr., and Steve Young from ESPN’s main set at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and NFL Insider Adam Schefter will report from a stage set, and reporter Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews in the green room and after players are selected. Also, ESPN Scouts Inc. director of college scouting Todd McShay will contribute from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.
On Day 3 (Saturday, April 24), NFL Live‘s Trey Wingo will host coverage from Radio City with Gruden, Jaworski and Kiper. Mortensen and Schefter will continue to report from Radio City, and Kolber will co-host Rounds 4-7 from Bristol joined by Tedy Bruschi, Trent Dilfer, Herm Edwards and McShay.
ESPN will dispatch reporters on Days 1 and 2 to team sites across the country, including: Colleen Dominguez (covering San Francisco), Pedro Gomez (New Orleans), Rachel Nichols (St. Louis), Wendi Nix (Pittsburgh), Sal Paolantonio (Philadelphia), Michael Smith (Cleveland), Shelley Smith (Seattle) and Ed Werder (Washington).
Two editions of SportsCenter Special: On the Clock (3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., ESPN) and NFL Live (4 p.m., ESPN) on April 22 will kickoff ESPN’s comprehensive Draft coverage on Day 1 and 2. Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico will host with analysts Cris Carter, Dilfer, Kirk Herbstreit (Thurs. only), Jaworski, Keyshawn Johnson and McShay. The three-hour SportsCenter Special at 4:30 p.m. will lead into the NFL Draft telecast.
- Coverage of the NFL Draft 75th anniversary Red Carpet event from Radio City Music Hall (Fri., April 23, 6-7 p.m.) will include interviews with Draft prospects, some of the Most Valuable Draft Picks of all-time and members of the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class;
- Videoconferencing in high definition with all 32 teams using Glowpoint telepresence technology;
- Live shots with some 25 NFL Draft prospects, capturing their reactions as they’re picked;
- More than 200 player highlight packages;
- More than 60 rapid-fire still photo bumps featuring Draft prospects that will be used in and out of commercial breaks during the telecast;
- The perceptive pixel touch screen regularly used on SportsCenter and a new 65-inch interactive depth chart will be used by McShay during Draft coverage. ESPN Axis will also be utilized;
- Sport Science host John Brenkus will offer unique athlete analysis segments on player acceleration, VO2 Max, word association, speed and agility, etc., based on tests conducted on 2010 NFL Draft prospects.
- SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp (Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m.) – The one-hour special features Gruden in classroom sessions and one-on-one interviews with four of the top quarterbacks in the 2010 NFL Draft class – Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow.
ESPN’s 2010 NFL Draft marketing campaign is themed to the Jay-Z song “Empire State of Mind” (featuring Alicia Keys). The spots highlight the Draft’s move to primetime and take viewers on a visual tour of New York City before arriving at the famous Radio City Music Hall marquee. Along the way, names and images of top Draft prospects appear on the billboards and up in lights at various sites throughout the city. The campaign was created by ESPN Consumer Marketing and produced by Triple Double in Los Angeles. To view the 30 second spot, click here. In all, ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast will feature four Jay-Z songs – “Star Is Born”, “On To The Next One”, “So Ambitious” and “Empire State Of Mind” – all from The Blueprint 3 album.
Football Tonight host Freddie Coleman will anchor ESPN Radio’s 2010 NFL Draft coverage Thursday and Friday, April 22-23, from Radio City with ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and former Redskins Executive Vice President for Football Operations Vinny Cerrato. ESPN Radio’s coverage will start Thursday at 7 p.m. (Round 1) and Friday at 6 p.m. (Rounds 2-3). ESPN Radio will also present news and updates Saturday from Rounds 4-7.
ESPNEWS will supplement its overall sports news coverage with prime-time NFL Draft updates beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22 for Round 1. Mike Hill and Dari Nowkhah will anchor from Bristol with analysts Eric Allen and Qadry Ismail and college football reporter Joe Schad. Draft-related updates continue Friday, April 23 at 6 p.m. for Rounds 2 and 3 with Hill and Ryan Burr, Allen, Ismail and Schad. Both nights, ESPNEWS will offer analysis of player selections and live interviews. Special graphics will allow fans to follow the action, team-by-team, and viewers will be invited to share their thoughts through polls and comments on ESPN.com’s SportsNation and via Twitter (@ESPNEWS). On Saturday, April 24, ESPNEWS will offer special Draft-tracking graphics, updates, interviews and analysis throughout Rounds 4-7.
ESPN.com’s 2010 NFL Draft section will offer comprehensive coverage leading up to and throughout all three days of the Draft with analysis and insight from Kiper, McShay, Scouts Inc. experts and others. All eight NFL division bloggers will be part of ESPN.com’s “cover it live” approach from various team sites, including Tim Graham (Miami), Paul Kuharsky (Nashville), Matt Mosley (Washington), Mike Sando (Seattle), Kevin Seifert (Detroit), James Walker (Cleveland), Bill Williamson (Denver) and Pat Yasinskas (Tampa). ESPN senior writers Jeffri Chadiha (Kansas City), John Clayton (New York) and Len Pasquarelli (Atlanta) will also offer columns and insights.
Pre-Draft highlights: Scouts Inc. reports on approximately 350 prospects through ESPN’s DraftTracker;
Kiper’s Big Board; weekly features by ESPN’s division bloggers examining each team’s Draft possibilities; regularly updated mock drafts; reports on individual workouts and evaluations of each team’s Draft needs and potential strategies; an “Inside the Draft” multimedia feature that examines key figures in the Dallas Cowboys’ war room; round-by-round all-star teams of previous drafts; a feature on the five best Drafts of all time; and profiles on prominent Draft prospects.
Draft coverage: The three-day coverage will include a revamped DraftCast, including NFL Draft Live, a feature that allows users to interact with ESPN.com writers, bloggers and other draft experts across the country; DraftTracker: Pick-by-pick data in real time; a social media application that integrates Facebook; SportsNation polling; live blogging and team reviews from all eight NFL division bloggers; video breakdowns of every first-round pick by ESPN’s Herm Edwards; pick-by-pick analysis by Scouts Inc., and Kiper’s team-by-team draft grades.
ESPN Mobile will give fans on-the-go access to Draft-related news and information including a Draft section on ESPN’s mobile web site complete with video, player profiles, analysis and breaking news. ESPN.com’s favorite columnists are also 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 round, and ESPN’s MVP subscribers will get one-touch access to Draft-related news, information and video.
ESPN International will offer coverage (same as the domestic telecast) all three days of the NFL Draft to approximately 23 million households in 43 countries and territories on ESPN America, the only European network dedicated to broadcasting the best North American sports, and TSN (Canada). The Draft telecast will be live Thursday and Friday on TSN (Canada).
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 2010 prospects, including Gerald McCoy and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska), Eric Berry (Tennessee), Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) and CJ Spiller (Clemson), among others. Coverage will also include college football game reairs featuring NFL Draft “sleepers” like Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) and Tony Moeaki (Iowa). Games will air April 16-25.
The two-hour ESPNU Draft Special hosted by Lowell Galindo with analysts Tom Luginbill and Charles Arbuckle will air Tuesday, April 20 at 8 p.m. and will feature the latest Draft news, predictions and analysis.
ESPN Classic will present a 13-day marathon (April 10-22) of star NFL players ‘before they were pros’ by televising each player’s classic college games daily from noon–10 p.m. The eventual NFL stars used these college games to showcase their talents for scouts and coaches, better positioning themselves for the NFL Draft. Featured players will include Donovan McNabb (April 13, 6-10 p.m.), Brett Favre (April 15, 2-6 p.m.), Tom Brady (April 16, noon–10 p.m.), Adrian Peterson (April 20, 4-8 p.m.) and Chris Johnson (April 22, noon – 4 p.m.), among others.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft Preview includes a cover-story on Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. In “As Easy As 1, 2, 3… 756, 757, 758” ESPN The Magazine writer David Fleming dissects the former Irish signal-caller’s forward pass to find out what he does and how he makes it looks so simple — his sublime mechanics give him an important edge over his peers and have made him a top prospect in this year’s NFL Draft. Clausen is also featured on the back cover where he has been “Avatorized” in an ad promoting the Avatar DVD release, with the copy written in Na’vi. Also featured in the NFL Draft issue, The Mag brought five mid-round Draft prospects to New York for a photo shoot and some fun in “Kings for a Day III.” The Magazine also calculated the Games Started Above Average (GSAA) to get a 1-32 ranking of each NFL teams’ war room success in “Picky, Picky.” The issue hit newsstands April 9. To view the covers, click here.
ESPN The Magazine will host its seventh annual Ultimate Pre-Draft Party on Wednesday, April 21 at ESPACE, New York City. The party will feature DJ ?uestlove. This private, invite-only party will host invited members of the 2010 Draft Class and other athlete and celebrity guests.