ESPN will televise the 2012 NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light, April 26-28 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Draft-related content will also be available across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN International, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPNU, ESPN.com, WatchESPN, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN VOD and ESPN Mobile Web. Programming highlights:
16 hours of live television programming of the 2012 NFL Draft; for the first time, the first hour of Round 1 coverage (Thursday night) will be presented with limited commercial interruption;
15 hours of original SportsCenter on the Clock shows during NFL Draft week;
23 cameras in and around Radio City, including two RF steadicams and three jib cameras;
Over 250 player highlight packages;
High definition videoconferencing with all 32 teams using HD Glowpoint cameras;
More than 100 draft prospects were photographed at the NFL Scouting Combine in March. The images will be combined with music by Nas and guitarist Gary Clark, Jr., and used throughout the telecast. Also, Baltimore Ravens veteran linebacker Ray Lewis will appear in the special opening video for ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast.
ESPN’s NFL Draft Commentator Teams:
Day One (Thurs.): Chris Berman will host Round 1 from the main set with analysts Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper, Jr. NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report from an additional set, and reporter Suzy Kolber will be on site to interview draft prospects at Radio City. Analyst Bill Polian will offer his insights from Bristol.
Day Two (Fri.): Berman, Kiper and Gruden will remain at Radio City on the main set, and they will be joined by analyst Todd McShay in Round 3. Polian will accompany Mortensen and Schefter on the additional set.
Day Three (Sat.): Trey Wingo will host Rounds 4-7 with analysts Trent Dilfer, Kiper and McShay. Mortensen, Polian and Schefter will also provide news and analysis from a second set within Radio City.
ESPN will also dispatch reporters to team sites across the country, including: Josina Anderson (St. Louis Rams), Bob Holtzman (Cleveland Browns), Rachel Nichols (Miami Dolphins), Sal Paolantonio (New York Jets) and Ed Werder (Dallas Cowboys). Full ESPN NFL Draft talent release.
ESPN RadioMike Hill and Mark Schlereth, co-hosts of ESPN Radio’s Hill & Schlereth, will anchor the network’s coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday and Friday, April 26-27, from Radio City Music Hall. They will be joined by ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton. Kiper will provide analysis of each first-round pick. ESPN Radio NFL Draft programming begins Thursday at 7 p.m. ET (Round 1) and Friday at 6 p.m. News and updates from Rounds 2-3 will also be presented Saturday.
During the month of April, ESPN Classic is presenting 191 hours of Before They Were Pros,programming that showcases highly-touted prospects from recent years, including re-airs of college football games as well as episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp. Shows run April 23-26 during NFL Draft week.
ESPN InternationalESPN International will offer coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 52 million households in 146 countries and territories throughout Africa, Brazil, Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Europe on ESPN America, and Canada on TSN2.
ESPNULeading up to the NFL Draft, ESPNU will present a six-hour marathon of Gruden’s QB Campon Wednesday, April 25, beginning at 6 p.m. The ESPNU marathon will include previously unaired footage and commentary from Gruden on each of the quarterbacks featured in the 2012 series.
Then, with a trio of ESPNU Draft Coverage shows debuting Thursday, April 26, at 10:30 p.m., the network will breakdown each NFL Draft prospect with the analysts who have called their games. Along with ESPNU commentators, former coaches of 2012 prospects will analyze the current state of college teams and discuss how these programs will replace draftees in the upcoming season.
During the three-day draft, ESPN.com will provide:
DraftCast and NFL Draft Live, allowing users to interact with ESPN.com writers, bloggers and other draft experts
DraftTracker, with pick-by-pick data in real time
A social media application with Facebook integration
Live blogging and team reviews from all eight NFL division bloggers
Video analysis of every first-round pick by McShay
ESPN Insider members will also have premium access to the 2012 NFL Draft covered from every angle. Mock drafts from Kiper and McShay will lead off the event, accompanied by quarterback rankings from Trent Dilfer.
During the draft, Scouts Inc. will provide detailed, pick-by-pick analysis throughout, with analysis from Kiper each night of the draft on the big winners of each day. ESPN Insider will also end each day with a preview for the next, including mock drafts and a listing of best players available.
The famed Kiper Draft Grades will be posted Saturday night as the draft wraps up, and for three days following, Insider will carry pieces on impact players and other storylines. Dilfer will break down how rookie quarterbacks will fit in with their new teams, and ESPN Insiders will get the earliest look at next season with McShay’s 2013 Mock Draft and Kiper’s 2013 Big Board.
ESPN MobileESPN 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. NFL Draft content will also be integrated into the ESPN ScoreCenter app including an NFL Draft card delivering news, video, tweets and live draft results. Fans will also be able to sign up for ESPN Alerts by round and by college or NFL team. Alerts are available in the ScoreCenter app and via SMS on most major carriers.
ESPN3ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network will carry replays of the Pro Day workouts for several of the top prospects, including Luck’s Stanford Pro Day, Griffin’s Baylor Pro Day and Richardson’sAlabama Pro Day. The network is available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
ESPN The Magazine ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft issue features Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III on the cover and highlights why he is no ordinary quarterback – he’s a legacy who embodies the traits of his predecessors, both one and two. In “Third and Gold,” Tom Friend explores RG3’s unique blend of charisma, will, speed and smarts in this definitive profile on the draft’s most important player.
The NFL Draft issue, on newsstands April 20, also highlights how no school has ever had a quarterback, guard and tackle all taken in the first round of the NFL draft. But if predictions are correct, writes Seth Wickersham in “The Stanford Predicament,” that is exactly what will happen for Stanford this year when Andrew Luck, David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin take the stage at Radio City. The issue also features its annual “Kings for a Day” project, where The Mag provides star treatment and a photo shoot to mid-round draft prospects who won’t get a chance to grace Radio City’s stage. “Kings for a Day” features Chris Galippo (USC linebacker), Audie Cole (N.C. State linebacker), Bernard Pierce (Temple running back), and Nick Toon (Wisconsin wide receiver). These four future NFL greats put on their finest and hit NYC.
In addition, The Mag let NFL fans cast their votes for every first-round pick in the 2012 draft, and ESPN’s experts — Todd McShay, Mel Kiper and 32 beat reporters from across the nation — weigh in on “The People’s Draft.”
ESPN The Magazine will host its ninth annual Pre-Draft Party on Wednesday, April 25, at The Waterfront in New York City. The party will feature DJ Kiss. This private, invite-only event will host invited members of the 2012 Draft Class and other athlete and celebrity guests.
ESPN Sport Science 2012 Draft Special (Saturday, April 21, 1:30-2 p.m., ESPN) — In a special edition of ESPN Sport Science, John Brenkus uses cutting-edge technology and one-of-a-kind tests to analyze this year’s top NFL draft prospects, including Justin Blackmon, Melvin Ingram, Michael Brockers, Luke Kuechly, Michael Floyd, Quinton Coples, and Coby Fleener.
SportsCenter Special: Bill Parcells’ Draft Confidential (Tuesday, April 24, 10 p.m., ESPN) — ESPN will present a one-hour special in which two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Bill Parcells shares his secrets, philosophies and inside knowledge on how the NFL Draft works. Hosted by Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico, Draft Confidential pulls back the curtain and reveals the dynamics of an NFL Draft room, and how the NFL’s decision-makers come to the point where they are ready to invest in a prospect by drafting the player in the NFL Draft. Bill Polian also helps Parcells preview the 2012 NFL Draft.