NFL-Themed Draft Academy Series Available Exclusively on ESPN+

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NFL-Themed Draft Academy Series Available Exclusively on ESPN+

  • Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shaquem Griffin Among NFL Draft Prospects Featured
  • First four episodes available now on ESPN+; New episode each Thursday


Clip from Episode 2:

Draft Academy, an eight-episode ESPN original series featuring top prospects in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, is available exclusively on ESPN+. The first four episodes are available now on ESPN+. Additional episodes will debut each Thursday through May 3.

Draft Academy profiles six players who hope to hear their names called in the 2018 NFL Draft, including two top quarterbacks – Sam Darnold (USC) and Josh Allen (Wyoming), Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick – a projected top-10 pick, and Central Florida’s Shaquem Griffin, the linebacker who has emerged as one of the biggest names in this year’s draft class. The series chronicles the lead-up to the NFL Draft for each player, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at their training, the NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Days, home visits with their families, and eventually, the 2018 NFL Draft.

Draft Academy brings fans closer to some of the biggest names and best stories in the upcoming NFL Draft and serves as a complement to all that ESPN is doing across our linear networks,” said Connor Schell, Executive Vice President, Content, ESPN“The show is a prime example of the high-quality, relevant original content fans will have access to on demand on ESPN+.”

2018 Draft Academy prospects and previews of exclusive content in the series:

  • Sam Darnold (USC QB) – The MVP of the Pac-12 Championship Game, Darnold is the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft… Draft Academy invites fans into an impromptu practice session in which Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson helped Darnold with calling plays;
  • Josh Allen (Wyoming QB) – Similar to Darnold, Allen is an elite quarterback prospect who could be the top pick in the draft… Draft Academy cameras followed Allen as he played cards with his family and ventured out in the ocean on an outrigger canoe with Darnold and Kyle Allen;
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama DB) – The two-time All-American won the 2017 Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) and Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back) while leading the Crimson Tide to the National Championship;
  • Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida LB) – Griffin, who has only one hand, made headlines at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a blistering 4.38 40-yard dash and bench-pressing 225 pounds 20 times. His twin brother, Shaquill, is a Seattle Seahawks defensive back… Draft Academy includes the behind-the-scenes moment when Griffin learned he was being invited to the Combine;
  • Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame WR) – St. Brown led the Fighting Irish in receiving yards and receptions in 2016 and 2017… Draft Academy cameras followed St. Brown into the hallway of an Indianapolis hotel where, in advance of the Combine, he was practicing the 40-yard dash; and
  • Kyle Allen (Houston QB) – Allen set a Cougars’ record for single-game completion percentage in 2017.

In addition to being featured on Draft Academy, Griffin is scheduled to appear on multiple ESPN shows on Thursday, April 19, when he visits the company’s New York City and Bristol, Conn., studios.

ESPN’s 2018 Draft Academy premiere dates:

Date Show Network
Thu, Apr 12 ESPN Draft Academy (Episodes 1-4) ESPN+
Thu, Apr 19 ESPN Draft Academy (Episode 5) ESPN+
Thu, Apr 26 ESPN Draft Academy (Episode 6) ESPN+
Thu, May 3 ESPN Draft Academy (Episodes 7-8) ESPN+

Also on ESPN+: The Complete Collection of Gruden’s QB Camp

In addition to Draft Academy, all eight seasons of Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series – totaling more than 50 original episodes – are now available exclusively on ESPN+. From 2010-17, Gruden conducted one-on-one film sessions with top quarterback prospects in advance of the NFL Draft.

The former ESPN Monday Night Football analyst, now Oakland Raiders head coach, mentored current NFL stars Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston, among others.

A new iteration of the QB Camp series, QB2QB with Russell Wilson, premieres Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and will also be available on demand via the ESPN App.


About ESPN+

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ESPN+ is an integrated part of a completely redesigned ESPN App. Already the leading sports app, the new ESPN App is the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans and a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation. With a richer, increasingly more personalized experience, the new ESPN App curates all of ESPN’s incredible content into an experience unique to each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also available through

About Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International

Comprised of Disney’s international media businesses and the Company’s various streaming services, the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment aligns technology, content and distribution platforms to expand the Company’s global footprint and deliver world-class, personalized entertainment experiences to consumers around the world. The recently announced segment is responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer businesses globally, including the ESPN+ sports streaming service, programmed in partnership with ESPN; the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service; and the Company’s ownership stake in Hulu. As part of the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, BAMTECH Media, developer of the ESPN+ and Disney-branded streaming platforms, oversees all consumer-facing digital technology and products across the Company.

Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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