ESPN’s Draft Academy, which offers a personal, behind-the-scenes look at top NFL Draft prospects, will return for a second season, beginning Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The series will have a four-week run of original one-hour episodes (7-8 p.m. ET) and be part of ESPN’s weekly Tuesday night Journey to the Draft programming block.
Draft Academy will profile six highly-touted prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft class:
- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and potential No. 1 overall pick;
- Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, the 2014 Doak Walker Award winner and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year;
- Georgia running back Todd Gurley, one of the top players entering the 2014 season who is recovering from a knee injury in hopes of becoming a first round pick;
- Missouri defensive end Shane Ray, the 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year;
- Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith of the National Champion Buckeyes; and
- North Dakota State running back John Crockett, who ran for more than 4,000 career yards in his three college seasons.
Draft Academy’s April 14 premiere will introduce fans to the players. The remaining three episodes will highlight a different part of their draft experience: April 21 (NFL Combine), April 28 (Pro Day workout) and May 5 (NFL Draft).
In addition to the original airs, Draft Academy episodes will re-air across the ESPN networks and on ABC. SportsCenter, NFL Live and other ESPN shows will feature segments leading up to and after the 2015 NFL Draft (April 30-May 2, ESPN/ESPN2). Additionally, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine will offer related content.
“Draft Academy is great storytelling because it showcases the grit, determination and character of some of the biggest names in the 2015 draft class,” said Matthew Volk, ESPN director, programming and acquisitions. “The show’s return represents a key element of our expansive coverage leading up to and through the NFL Draft.”
Draft Academy is being produced by ESPN’s feature unit under the direction of coordinating producer Jose Morales, senior coordinating producer Victor Vitarelli and features manager Lydelle King.
The first season of Draft Academy in 2014 profiled Jadeveon Clowney, the eventual No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans; No. 3 pick, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles; Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee; Cleveland Browns cornerback Pierre Desir; and Tennessee Titans running back Bishop Sankey.
ESPN’s 2015 Draft Academy premiere dates:
|Tue, April 14||7 p.m.||2015 Draft Academy Presented by Courtyard by Marriott: The Journey Begins||ESPN|
|Tue, April 21||7 p.m.||2015 Draft Academy Presented by Courtyard by Marriott: The Combine||ESPN|
|Tue, April 28||7 p.m.||2015 Draft Academy Presented by Courtyard by Marriott: Pro Days||ESPN|
|Tue, May 5||7 p.m.||2015 Draft Academy Presented by Courtyard by Marriott: The Draft||ESPN|