Photos via ESPN Images
Round One Again Televised with Limited Commercial Interruption
Live Editions of SportsCenter from Chicago on Thursday and Friday
ESPN will televise the 2015 NFL Draft from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Thursday, April 30 – Saturday, May 2. Prime-time coverage of Round 1 (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET) will again be presented with limited commercial interruption. Production highlights for ESPN’s 36th NFL Draft telecast:
- 325 player highlight packages;
- 50 different player personality bumps;
- 25 specialty technical breakdowns with analysis from Jon Gruden, Ray Lewis and Todd McShay;
- 27 cameras, including two RF handheld cameras, two RF steadicams, and five jib cameras;
- 20 player live shots;
- HD Videoconferencing from all 32 team sites; and
- Legendary Chicago artist Curtis Mayfield’s Move on Up, performed by the soul/R&B duo LION BABE, will provide the soundtrack for the draft telecast.
ESPN NFL Draft Commentators
- Thursday (Round 1): Chris Berman (covering his 35th draft) hosts with NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. (his 32nd), Super Bowl winning head coach and Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis, NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter and NFL Insiders host Suzy Kolber.
- Friday (Rounds 2-3): NFL Live’s Trey Wingo hosts with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer, NFL Draft analysts Kiper and Todd McShay, Mortensen, Schefter and Kolber.
- Saturday (Rounds 4-7): Wingo hosts with Kiper, McShay, six-time NFL Executive of the Year and 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian, Mortensen and Schefter.
- ESPN bureau reporters will provide updates on two of the top prospects in the draft and from NFL team sites: Florida State’s Jameis Winston in Alabama (Tom Rinaldi), Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in Hawaii (Shelley Smith), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ed Werder), Tennessee Titans (Bob Holtzman), New York Jets (Josina Anderson), St. Louis Rams (Britt McHenry), Cleveland Browns (Jeremy Fowler), San Diego Chargers (Jim Trotter) and Philadelphia Eagles (Sal Paolantonio). Commentator Release.
ESPN NFL Draft TV schedule (April 30-May 2):
|Thu, Apr 30||2:30-3:30 p.m.||NFL Insiders||ESPN|
|3:30-4:30 p.m.||NFL Live Presented by NAPA||ESPN|
|7-8 p.m.||SportsCenter Special Presented by Golden Corral: Draft Countdown||ESPN|
|8-11:30 p.m.||NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Round 1)||ESPN|
|Fri, May 1||2:30-3:30 p.m.||NFL Insiders||ESPN|
|3:30-4:30 p.m.||NFL Live Presented by NAPA||ESPN|
|7-11:30 p.m.||NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Rounds 2-3)||ESPN2|
|Sat, May 2||12-8 p.m.||NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Rounds 4-7)||ESPN|
*Schedule subject to change.
In all, ESPN will present 42 hours of NFL Draft-related programming from April 27-May 3, including 16 hours of the live NFL Draft telecast; episodes of Draft Academy and Gruden’s QB Camp, SportsCenter Specials, and editions of NFL Live and NFL Insiders, which will be televised live from Chicago April 30 and May 1. Live editions of SportsCenter will also originate from the NFL Draft for the first time with anchors John Anderson, Jay Crawford, Lindsay Czarniak, Steve Levy and Chris McKendry in Chicago on Thursday and Friday. More NFL Draft-related coverage includes:
ESPN Radio will broadcast the 2015 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 30 (7 p.m. ET), and Friday, May 1 (6:30 p.m.) with host Dari Nowkhah, NFL analyst Louis Riddick and NFL Insider John Clayton. Freddie Coleman will host post-draft coverage Thursday and Friday at 11:30 p.m.
Mike & Mike, hosted by Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, will broadcast live from Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum at Water Tower Place on April 30 and May 1. Doors will open at 4 a.m. CT for fans to watch the show and gain free access to the museum during both broadcasts. In Chicago, the show can be heard on ESPN Chicago 1000AM. Mike & Mike airs from 6-10 a.m. ET weekdays on ESPN Radio, espnradio.com, ESPN Radio app, SiriusXM Channel 83, Apple iTunes, Slacker Radio, TuneIn and is simulcast on ESPN2.
ESPN Chicago 1000
Throughout the week of April 27, ESPN Chicago 1000AM will offer in-depth analysis leading up to and reviewing day one of the NFL Draft across all talk shows, featuring live interviews with many ESPN and NFL-related guests. Comedian Frank Caliendo will put on a special performance exclusively for ESPN Chicago listeners. Details:
- On Monday, April 27, Waddle & Silvy (Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman, 2-6 p.m. CT) will host an NFL Draft Roundtable with ESPN reporters Adam Schefter and John Clayton. The discussion will be held downtown and is open to the public.
- On Tuesday, April 28, from 7-9 p.m. CT, Carmen DeFalco (co-host of Carmen & Jurko) will host a “Draft Chat” with ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski.
- On Wednesday, April 29, ESPN Chicago 1000 will host a private concert for ESPN Radio listeners starring Frank Caliendo. Listeners can win free tickets; tune in for details.
- On Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, Carmen & Jurko (Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. CT) and Waddle & Silvy will broadcast live from the Auditorium Theatre, site of the NFL Draft.
ESPN International will offer television coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 31 million households in 49 countries and territories throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, and Canada (on TSN). Round 1 will be simulcast in Mexico and Central America via the ESPN Play broadband offering while Rounds 1 and 2 will simulcast in Brazil via the WatchESPN broadband offering.
ESPNU will air encore presentations of college games highlighting some of this year’s top prospects, beginning Tuesday, April 28. Schedule:
|Tue, Apr 28||4 a.m.||College Football All-Star Game|
|Thu, Apr 30||1 a.m.||2015 Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida State (Marcus Mariota/Jameis Winston)|
|7 a.m.||Kansas State vs. Baylor (Bryce Petty)|
|5 p.m.||College Football All-Star Game|
|Fri, May 1||1 a.m.||Auburn vs. Alabama (Amari Cooper)|
|4 a.m.||Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (Melvin Gordon/Ameer Abdullah)|
|7 a.m.||Tennessee vs. Georgia (Todd Gurley)|
ESPN.com will provide unprecedented, wall-to-wall coverage of the draft, prominently featuring all NFL Nation team reporters as well as NFL senior writer John Clayton and NFL Nation writer Kevin Seifert. Planned highlights for the three-day draft in Chicago:
- DraftCast and Draft Tracker, offering pick-by-pick data and analysis from Scouts Inc. and video on all 256 prospects in real time;
- NFL Nation reporters’ reaction on all picks and team-specific analysis all three days of the draft, including comprehensive team wrap-ups;
- Daily analysis of Round 1, Rounds 2-3 and Rounds 4-7 from Seifert, and a draft wrap-up from Clayton;
- Todd McShay’s Round 1 analysis of best picks; and
- Mel Kiper Jr. shares his best available players and team-by-team grades.
Highlights of pre-draft coverage:
- Profiles on quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, Todd Gurley and others;
- Gruden’s QB Camp video profiles and scouting reports on prominent draft prospects;
- Kiper’s top 50 value picks of the past 25 years, with further analysis by Seifert;
- Kiper’s evaluation of top needs for every team;
- Final mock drafts from Kiper and McShay; plus, an NFL Nation mock draft;
- McShay’s top 300 prospects list and Kiper’s top 100 list;
- Jeff Legwold’s analysis of what every team would do with the No. 1 pick; and
- After the draft, Jeffri Chadiha will preview the Class of 2016 quarterbacks.
ESPN Insider members will experience complete and premium access to the 2015 NFL Draft covered from every angle. Comprehensive coverage leading up to and throughout all three days of the draft includes analysis and insight from experts Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Bill Polian, Adam Schefter, Mike Sando, Louis Riddick, Mark Dominik, Scouts Inc. and others, including several mock drafts from Kiper and McShay. At the conclusion of the NFL Draft, Kiper will release his annual Draft Grades, a must-read for fans anticipating their teams’ newest additions. McShay will also weigh in with his take on the best individual picks and overall classes of 2015, and look ahead to the next draft season with his 2016 Mock Draft. Additional Insider-only features and tools include:
- Kiper and McShay’s Joint Mock Draft – the ESPN experts pick against each other, making the selections they would choose if they were in charge of the NFL teams, as part of a TV special;
- Kiper’s “Draft Report” – previously only available in his annual “Draft Report”, Kiper’s insights are available exclusively on Insider, including his top 100 prospects heading into the draft and his thoughts on the biggest draft needs for all 32 NFL teams;
- Gruden’s QB Camp – articles featuring the coach’s thoughts on this year’s most compelling quarterback prospects, plus video from his interviews with each;
- Kiper and McShay’s prospect rankings and team draft needs – covering the top players by positions and biggest areas of weakness on every NFL team’s roster;
- Draft Guides for all 32 teams – Insider’s analytics and scouting experts team up with our 32 NFL Nation reporters to identify the top roster needs and prospect targets for every team, offering predictions on how draft night will play out for each fan base; and
- “Your draft class” pages for every team – A collection of Insider’s expert analysis on every pick and every draft class, including video highlights on every player drafted.
ESPN3 and WatchESPN
An encore presentation of Florida State Pro Day is available on WatchESPN and replays of Clemson, Duke and Stanford Pro Days are available via ESPN3. Additionally, live coverage of the NFL Draft on ESPN will be accessible via WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One for fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft issue, now on newsstands, features a cover story on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. In “Ticking Time Bomb or QB Savant,” The Mag’s Kurt Streeter provides readers an all-access pass to the draft’s most polarizing player—and arguably the most controversial potential No. 1 pick ever—as he navigates the draft’s unforgiving evaluation process. The Mag tries to answer the question: Who is Jameis Winston? Additional issue highlights:
- A Marcus Mariota profile (“Separating the Player from the System”): The Mag takes a look at the tape of the Heisman Trophy winner who set all sorts of school records at Oregon, and speaks with college and NFL scouts, executives and coaches as a means of showing the true transition that Mariota faces at the next level. By Mike Sando
- “Kings for a Day,” an annual project spotlighting mid-round draft prospects, features a trio of quarterbacks – UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Alabama’s Blake Sims and Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson. By Morty Ain
- A Round 1 mock draft with ESPN experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., who size up all 32 picks.
The new integrated brand campaign “Now We Draft” celebrates some of the finest moments from this past season and highlights the unmatched insight fans get on this year’s NFL Draft prospects from Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Jon Gruden and other ESPN experts. The two 30-second spots from the campaign, titled “Players” and “Fans,” are voiced by renowned actor and Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons. “Players” features several of the top prospects in this year’s draft, including Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Marcus Mariota, Shane Ray, Leonard Williams and Jameis Winston. The “Now We Draft” campaign was developed by ESPN’s in-house marketing team.
ESPN Social Media
ESPN’s social media initiatives surrounding the NFL Draft include custom hashtags for each team (i.e. #NYJpick), custom images of each player drafted in the first round with their new team, and live behind-the-scenes images of the NFL Draft and Draft Town in Chicago. Fans are invited to follow the action on Twitter (@ESPNNFL), Facebook (NFL on ESPN) and Instagram (@ESPNNFL).