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NFL Draft logo courtesy of the National Football League
NFL Draft logo courtesy of the National Football League

Movin' to the Motor City: ESPN departs for Detroit to present NFL Draft across multiple platforms


Mon, Apr 15th 2024 08:30 pm

ESPN once again broadcasts marquee NFL offseason event; ABC’s unique slant returns for 6th draft

√ Nick Saban debuts in new ESPN role: ‘College GameDay” & ABC’s Draft presentation; Mel Kiper Jr.’s 41st NFL Draft on ESPN

√ New this year: ‘The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular’ streamed on YouTube, TikTok & ESPN+

√ Booger McFarland, Louis Riddick, Molly McGrath, Adam Schefter (ESPN) and Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Field Yates, Laura Rutledge, Pete Thamel (ABC) among many voices; Mike Greenberg (ESPN) and Rece Davis (ABC) host

Press Release

ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will present the 2024 NFL Draft across ESPN, ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and ESPN’s social media platforms, as the NFL takes its marquee offseason event to Detroit (April 25-27). On-site studio programming will surround the multiplatform presentation as ESPN further deepens its commitment to the annual NFL tentpole event. ESPN’s longstanding NFL Draft tradition will reach 45 consecutive years in Detroit, dating back to 1980.

For the first two nights, Thursday, April 25 (8 p.m. EDT), and Friday, April 26 (7 p.m.), ESPN and ABC will provide fans two broadcast options, a tradition dating back to the 2019 NFL Draft, and new this year a third option with “The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular.”

ESPN’s presentation will focus on areas of need for each team, the draftee’s football resume – with highlights and analysis on his playing style, technique and physical attributes – and how he will fit in with the team that drafted him. ABC will provide player analysis with a deeper emphasis on storytelling, providing viewers insight into the draftee’s background and journey to the NFL.

On day three of the Draft, Saturday, April 27 (noon), ESPN’s presentation will be simulcast on ABC.

Nick Saban, legendary former Alabama Crimson Tide head coach, will make his ESPN debut as an analyst on “College GameDay” and the ABC broadcast after it was announced he would be joining ESPN in February 2024. Mel Kiper Jr., officially in his fourth decade as an NFL Draft staple, returns to the ESPN broadcast.

2009 NFL draftee Pat McAfee and his crew will bring fans “The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular,” a night one special telecast available on YouTube and TikTok and streaming on ESPN+ (Thursday, 8 p.m.). Live from Detroit, the show will utilize a wide range of personalities and analysts to breakdown picks while also emphasizing the Draft experience from a fan perspective.

The 2024 NFL Draft will also be televised on NFL Network and streamed live via NFL digital properties.

ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and ESPN digital shows will cover every round and pick as well. ESPN’s DraftCast, a live tool that includes analysis of each prospect and a scouting reporting, will be available on ESPN.com.

On the eve of the NFL Draft, Wednesday, April 24, Kevin Negandhi will co-host “SportsCenter” (6- 7 p.m.) from inside the NFL Draft theater. Negandhi will remain on-site for the entirety of the Draft, bringing fans live action from Detroit on ESPN’s flagship show. Thursday, “SportsCenter” will have an extended edition (noon-3 p.m. EDT).

Five hours of wall-to-wall live studio show programming from Detroit, beginning with “NFL Live,” and followed by “College GameDay” and “NFL Draft Countdown Presented by EGO” will air leading up to the Chicago Bears officially being on the clock. Analysts on the ground in Detroit will contribute to additional ESPN studio shows, including “Get Up,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter” and “ESPN BET Live.” “The Pat McAfee Show” will originate from Detroit on Friday, enhancing ESPN’s massive on-site presence even further.

Before the Chicago Bears officially submit their pick, “NFL Draft Countdown Presented by EGO,” with ESPN’s main set of commentators, will take fans right up to the opening of the Draft (Thursday, 7-8 p.m. // Friday, 6-7 p.m.).

ESPN’s Friday draft coverage may air on ESPN2 pending NBA Playoff telecasts.

On location in the heart of Detroit

ESPN’s set will be inside the NFL draft theater at Campus Martius Park, located in downtown Detroit, while ABC’s will originate from just beyond the theater in Cadillac Square. On Saturday, ESPN’s coverage will originate from the ABC set.

“The Pat McAfee Show” and the “Draft Spectacular” will be situated at the Detroit Ice Rink, adjacent to the ABC set.

ESPN Radio will broadcast from the media center at One Campus Martius for all three days.

ESPN analysts & hosts march on down to Motown to bring fans NFL Draft

On Thursday and Friday, ESPN’s set will once again be filled with industry-leading NFL Draft commentators, as draft guru Kiper Jr. takes a seat alongside 1999 NFL draftee Booger McFarland and 1991 NFL draftee Louis Riddick. For the fourth consecutive year, Mike Greenberg will anchor ESPN’s presentation of the NFL draft on the first two nights.

NFL senior insider Adam Schefter will be ready to bring fans all the latest news from Detroit – including information on any impending trades. Molly McGrath, ESPN college football reporter, will make her NFL draft debut, interviewing prospects following their selection on the main stage.

On ABC, alongside Kirk Herbstreit and 1992 NFL draftee Desmond Howard, seven-time college football national champion head coach Saban will be at the desk offering a coach’s perspective to the group. “College GameDay’s” Rece Davis will host ABC’s presentation for the sixth time while NFL draft analyst Field Yates will join ABC’s draft coverage, partaking in the company’s draft night coverage for the first time.

Laura Rutledge, reporter and host of “NFL Live” and “SEC Nation,” will be stationed in the green room interviewing prospects’ families once their loved one is selected, while college football insider Pete Thamel will contribute the latest news and information to the ABC broadcast.

ESPN will have six reporters stationed at team facilities across the country – including at the locations of the teams with the top three picks – ensuring fans have access to immediate reaction from team Draft rooms.

Courtney Cronin – Chicago Bears

Jeff Darlington – Minnesota Vikings

Kimberley A. Martin – Washington Commanders

Sal Paolantonio – New York Giants

Mike Reiss – New England Patriots

Ed Werder – Denver Broncos

McAfee will be joined on “The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular” by Conor Campbell, Ty Schmit, Tone Digs and AJ Hawk. Additional guests will be announced in the coming days.

For the NFL Draft’s final day on Saturday, Kiper Jr., Riddick, Yates, NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller and Davis will bring fans coverage of rounds 4-7 on ESPN and ABC from the ABC set.

Multiple ESPN studio shows head to Detroit

“NFL Live” (Thursday and Friday, 3-5 p.m.), “College GameDay” (Thursday, 5-7 p.m. // Friday, 5-6 p.m.) and “The Pat McAfee Show” (Friday, noon-2 p.m. on ESPN, noon-3 p.m. on ESPN+ and ESPN on YouTube) will be live all afternoon from Detroit, filling the intrigue before the Draft commences with all the latest news, information and analysis. “Get Up,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter” and “ESPN BET Live” will also have a presence in Detroit, with a constant slew of analysts joining the shows live from the site of the Draft.

The knowledgeable and charismatic, 2024 Sports Emmy Award-nominated cast of “NFL Live,” consisting of 2005 NFL draftee Dan Orlovsky, 2024 Sports Emmy-nominated analysts Ryan Clark and Mina Kimes, 2005 NFL draftee Marcus Spears and host Rutledge, will be live from ESPN’s main set for the special two-hour editions of the daily NFL show.

Coming off their second most-watched season since 2011, ESPN’s “College GameDay” crew of Davis, Herbstreit and Howard will star in two spring editions of their weekly pregame show, joined by Saban in his “GameDay” debut. McAfee will join for Thursday’s edition, along with Rutledge, who will be live from the NFL Draft red carpet, interviewing prospects as they arrive, and 1995 NFL draftee Joey Galloway, Thamel and Yates join the desk throughout the show.

On “The Pat McAfee Show,” McAfee will be joined by Hawk, Campbell, Schmit, Digs, Darius Butler and Evan Fox. Fans can expect many notable guests, which will be announced in the coming days.

ESPN Radio, ESPN social platforms & ESPN Deportes add to list of NFL Draft distributors

ESPN Radio will broadcast every pick of the NFL Draft from Detroit, providing an additional medium for fans to consume the Draft. Chris Carlin will host alongside 2005 NFL draftee Chris Canty, ESPN NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN Radio college football reporter Ian Fitzsimmons and ESPN NFL Draft analyst Jordan Reid. Positioned inside the NFL media center, all on-site draftees will complete an interview with the crew after being selected.

Fans will hear ESPN Radio’s “UnSportsmanLike,” hosted by Evan Cohen and Michelle Smallmon, live from ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Greektown-Detroit, on Thursday and Friday (6-10 a.m.). The hosting duo will be joined by Canty, Joe Fortenbaugh, Carlin, Fitzsimmons and Tannenbaum. On both days following “UnSportsmanLike,” Cohen and Q Myers will host “Greeny” (10 a.m.-noon).

Throughout NFL Draft week, live ESPN digital shows and podcasts – available on YouTube, Facebook and the ESPN app – will feature an array of ESPN personalities:

√ Monday (11 a.m.-noon): “First Draft” – Yates and Kiper Jr. break down their final mock Drafts before heading to Detroit.

√ Wednesday (7:30-9 p.m.): “First Draft” – Yates, 2005 NFL draftee Domonique Foxworth, Kimes and Kiper Jr. host “First Draft” in front of a live audience at the ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Greektown-Detroit.

√ Thursday (at the conclusion of round 1): NFL Draft round 1 reactions – Douglas, Harry Lyles Jr., Spencer Hall and Kevin Clark discuss all of the major storylines from round 1 of the NFL Draft.

√ Friday (7 p.m.-midnight): Live coverage of the NFL Draft – Douglas, Lyles Jr., Hall and Clark analyze and discuss every pick in rounds 2 and 3.

On ESPN Deportes, “Monday Night Football” voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega will deliver exclusive Spanish-language coverage from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, alongside NFL experts Sebastián M. Christensen and Miguel Pasquel. Reporter Carlos Nava will be on-site in Detroit.

ESPN.com DraftCast returns; nightly recaps available on ESPN+

Fans can track every pick of the Draft with real-time data via ESPN.com’s DraftCast, which will provide instant analysis from ESPN draft analysts on how the draftee will fit with his new team. ESPN “NFL Nation” reporters will also keep fans up to date throughout the draft, providing rapid reaction for all 257 picks.

Available on ESPN+, recaps of all three days of the Draft will be published each night. Upon the conclusion of the Draft on Saturday, Kiper Jr. will give each team a post-Draft grade and explanation, while Miller and Reid will pick steals, surprises and more.

Extensive coverage leads into NFL Draft

ESPN will have additional information on NFL Draft content throughout the week of the draft, with full programming details announced in the coming days.

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