ESPN Announces Special NFL Programming Schedule Leading Up To NFL Draft

Courtesy: ESPN

The countdown to the 2018 NFL Draft is on, and in anticipation, ESPN is doing its part to build anticipation for the big pre-season weekend.

ESPN announced Tuesday a schedule consisting of more than 40 hours of original NFL programming leading up to the big event later this month.  It all starts tonight at 10 p.m. on ESPN2 with the new limited weekly series Inside The EA Sports Madden Ultimate League and continues Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 with SportsCenter SpecialMel and Todd’s Dueling Mocks.

Inside The EA Sports Madden Ultimate League takes audiences behind the scenes of what has become one of the NFL’s biggest e-sports competitions — Madden NFL ’18.  Viewers will be introduced to the tournament’s competitors who will be vying for the first-ever Ultimate League championship and part of a $500,000 cash prize.

In the second night of coverage leading up to the draft, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay go toe-to-toe with their mock drafts in an hour-long SportsCenter special.  Suzy Kolber will anchor the broadcast.  ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter will also be on hand throughout the broadcast for additional insight and commentary.

The second week of the ESPN networks’ special NFL draft leadup coverage opens April 10 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2 in Hey RookieWelcome to the NFL.  Produced by NFL Films, this four-part series follows soon-to-be NFL rookies Saquon Barkley and Bardley Chubb as they wind down their college football careers in preparation for professional careers on the gridiron.  It will be followed at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 by SportsCenter SpecialDraft Room Simulation.

SportsCenter SpecialDraft Room Simulation is an hour-long presentation that takes audiences behind the scenes of what happens in each team’s war room on draft day.  Trey Wingo will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by NFL Hall of Famer and former NFL General Manager Bill Polian, former NFL Director of Pro Personnel Louis Riddick, NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay and NFL reported Field Yates.  Yates also formerly worked in coaching and scouting with the Patriots and Chiefs.

The second week of the ESPN networks’ buildup to the draft winds down April 12 at 7 p.m. on ESPN with We The FansDallas.  This four-part-series follow a dozen Cowboys fans over the course of the 2017 season.  Replays of the hour-long episodes will be available via the ESPN app and ESPN Video on Demand.

The third and fourth week of the ESPN networks’ special NFL programming schedule includes additional special episodes of SportsCenterNFL Matchup and College GameDay.  The ESPN networks’ full pre-draft programming schedule is noted below.

More information on the ESPN networks’ NFL coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNFL

 

 

Debut Episodes:

Date

Time (ET)

Show

Network(s)

Tue, Apr 3

10 p.m.

Inside The EA SPORTS Madden Ultimate League: The Long Hustle

ESPN2

Wed, Apr 4

7 p.m.

SportsCenter Special: Mel and Todd’s Dueling Mocks

ESPN2

Tue, Apr 10

8:30 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 1)

ESPN2

9 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: Draft Room Simulation

ESPN2

10 p.m.

Inside The EA SPORTS Madden Ultimate League: Strategy & Stick Work

ESPN2

Thu, Apr 12

7 p.m.

We the Fans: Dallas presented by Meguiar’s (Episode 1)

ESPN

8 p.m.

We the Fans: Dallas presented by Meguiar’s (Episode 2)

ESPN

9 p.m.

We the Fans: Dallas presented by Meguiar’s (Episode 3)

ESPN

10 p.m.

We the Fans: Dallas presented by Meguiar’s (Episode 4)

ESPN

Tue, Apr 17

7 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: QB2QB with Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield

ESPN

7:30 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: QB2QB with Russell Wilson and J.T. Barrett

ESPN

8 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: QB2QB with Russell Wilson and Mason Rudolph

ESPN

8:30 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: QB2RB with Russell Wilson and Saquon Barkley

ESPN

9:30 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 2)

ESPN

10 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: You’ve Got Mel and Todd

ESPN

10 p.m.

Inside The EA SPORTS Madden Ultimate League: Game On Lock

ESPN2

Wed, Apr 18

8:30 p.m.

NFL Matchup: Draft Special (Episode 1)

ESPN2

Thu, Apr 19

8 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: Mel and Todd’s Mock Draft

ESPN

Tue, Apr 24

7 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: NFL Nation Mock Draft

ESPN

9:30 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 3)

ESPN

10 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: Best of QB2QB with Russell Wilson

ESPN

10 p.m.

Inside The EA SPORTS Madden Ultimate League: 4th & Inches

ESPN2

10:30 p.m.

NFL Matchup: Draft Special (Episode 2)

ESPN2

Thu, Apr 26

6 a.m.

Golic and Wingo

ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS*

3 p.m.

NFL Live presented by Corona Extra

ESPN

5 p.m.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot

ESPN

7 p.m.

NFL Draft Countdown presented by ZipRecruiter

ESPN

8 p.m.

2018 NFL Draft presented by Courtyard (Round 1)

ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes

8 p.m.

College Football Primetime at The NFL Draft presented by Courtyard (Round 1)

ESPN2

Fri, Apr 27

6 a.m.

Golic and Wingo

ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS*

3 p.m.

NFL Live presented by Corona Extra

ESPN

5 p.m.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot

ESPN

6 p.m.

NFL Draft Countdown presented by ZipRecruiter

ESPN

7 p.m.

2018 NFL Draft presented by Courtyard (Rounds 2-3)

ESPN/ESPN2,

ESPN Radio, ESPN3 (in Spanish)

Sat, Apr 28

12 p.m.

2018 NFL Draft presented by Courtyard (Rounds 4-7)

ESPN, ABC

7 p.m.

EA Sports Madden NFL 18 Ultimate League Championship

ESPN2

Sun, Apr 29

8 p.m.

SportsCenter Special presented by Maui Jim: Draft Grades

ESPN2

Tue, May 1

8:30 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 4)

ESPN

 

 

 

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ESPN Networks Kick Off 206 NFL Draft Coverage Thursday Night On ESPN

 Chicago, IL - April 30, 2015 - Auditorium Theatre: Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick and Chris Berman on the set during the 2015 NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)


Chicago, IL – April 30, 2015 – Auditorium Theatre: Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick and Chris Berman on the set during the 2015 NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

The countdown to the 2016 – 2017 NFL season officially begins this week.  It all begins Thursday with the annual NFL draft.  And ESPN will have full coverage of this year’s draft.

ESPN launches its coverage of the 2016 NFL draft Thursday night at 8pm ET live from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  ESPN will carry Round one with limited commercial interruption for the fifth consecutive year when it begins Thursday night.  It will be simulcast live on ESPN Radio nationwide.  Before the network’s coverage begins, it will air a special pre-draft SportsCenter broadcast at 7pm ET that looks forward not only to the first round of the draft but all seven rounds.  Speaking of those other rounds, ESPN will carry coverage of Rounds 2 and 3 live Friday evening beginning at 7pm ET from the Auditorium Theatre live on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNRadio.  Rounds 4 – 7 will be covered live Saturday beginning at noon eastern.  ESPN will carry coverage of Rounds 4 – 7 live from Chicago’s Grant Park.

Chris Berman will anchor ESPN’s broadcast of the draft’s first round Thursday evening.  He will be joined at the desk by veteran NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden, and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick.  Fellow NFL Insider Adam Schefter will be on hand along with NFL host Suzy Kolber, and a team of NFL reporters from team sites with all of the latest news throughout the first round.

Trey Wingo will anchor ESPN’s coverage of Rounds 2 – 7 over the weekend.  He will be joined by Mel Kiper, Jr., NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick, NFL Insider Adam Schefter, and NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay.  The full broadcast schedule for this weekend’s NFL draft coverage across the ESPN networks is listed below.

 

ESPN NFL Draft Programming Originating from Chicago (April 28-30):

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Thu, Apr 28 6-10 a.m. Mike & Mike ESPN Radio, ESPN2
10-11 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2
1:30-2:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
6-7 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
7-8 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown ESPN
8-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft (Round 1) ESPN,
ESPN Radio
11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
Fri, Apr 29 6-10 a.m. Mike & Mike ESPN Radio, ESPN2
10-11 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2
1:30-2:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
7-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft (Rounds 2-3) ESPN/ESPN2, ESPN Radio
Sat, Apr 30 12-8 p.m. NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7) ESPN

 

Along with its domestic coverage of the NFL Draft, ESPN International will carry coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 72 million households in 59 countries and territories throughout Latin America’s Spanish-speaking regions, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.  Canada will have coverage of the NFL Draft via TSN.  Audiences in Mexico and Central America can get full coverage of the draft via ESPN’s ESPNPlay broadband platform.  Audiences in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil will be able to catch coverage of the NFL Draft online via WatchESPN while audiences in the rest of South America will get live coverage of Round 1 live online via ESPNPlay.

The ESPN networks’ primary draft coverage is just the tip of the iceberg for this year’s events.  There will also be special, additional commentary and more across each of ESPN’s networks and platforms including but not limited to The Mel Kiper Draft Grades –the foundation of SportsCenter Special: Draft Grades on May 1st at 7pm ET on ESPN.  More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of this year’s NFL Draft is available online now at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Broadcast Teams For 2015 NFL Draft

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The clock is ticking. And very soon, NFL teams and fans around the country will get their first glimpse at what their favorite team may look like come Septmber when ESPN and the NFL broadcast the annual NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft will air April 30th – May 2nd on ESPN live from the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. in primetime with limited commercial interruption. While it is not known who will go to which team later this month, it is now known who will be handling hosting duties for this year’s draft. Chris Berman will host Round 1, marking his 35th year covering the annual selection show. He will be joined by Mel Kiper, Jr., who will be making his 32nd appearance at the draft. ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl champion coach Jon Gruden, Super Bowl champion and ESPN analyst Ray Lewis, and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Mortensen and Schefter will join Berman, Gruden, Lewis and Kiper at a second desk insie the theatre. Reporter Suzy Kolber will have interviews on the gold carpet and in the green room.

Rounds two and three of this year’s NFL Draft will be hosted by Trey Wingo. He will be joined by Super Bowl Champion quarterback Trent Dilfer and NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay. Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, and Suzy Kolber will each contribute to the broadcast of Round two and three as well.

Trey Wingo will return on Saturday, May 2nd to host Rounds Four through Seven of this year’s NFL Draft. He will be joined once again by Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay. Six-time NFL Executive of the year and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian will also contribut to Saturday’s broadcast along with Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

Along with its main broadcast teams, ESPN will also have bureau reporters assigne to a number of NFL team sites and two of the top NFL Draft prospects. That list of reporters is noted below:

  • Florida State’s Jameis Winston in Alabama (Tom Rinaldi)
  • Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in Hawaii (Shelley Smith)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ed Werder)
  • Tennessee Titans (Sal Paolantonio)
  • New York Jets (Josina Anderson)
  • Chicago Bears (Bob Holtzman)
  • St. Louis Rams (Britt McHenry)
  • Cleveland Browns (Jeremy Fowler)
  • San Diego Chargers (Jim Trotter)

ESPN will offer additional coverage of the 2015 NFL Draft across multiple platforms and editions of NFL Insiders, NFL Live, and SportsCenter. Each program will broadcast from Chicago beginning April 30th. The full broadcast schedule for the 2015 NFL Draft is noted below. All times are EST.

ESPN NFL Draft TV schedule (April 30-May 2):

Thu, Apr 30

2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN3:30-4:30 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

All of the latest information on ESPN’s coverage of the 2015 NFL Draft is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

To keep up with the latest sports ad entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainnment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Former Bucs GM ESPN’s Newest NFL Insider

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added another new name to its NFL Insiders staff.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik has joined the staff of ESPN’s NFL Insiders.  Dominik served as Tampa Bay’s General Manager for five seasons from 2009 – 2013.  He joins ESPN’s NFL talk show as a Front Office Insider.  He is scheduled to make his debut next Thursday, March 27th.

As per the terms of his agreement, Dominik’s appearances won’t be limited to NFL Insiders.  He will also contribute to NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPN Insider on ESPN.com.  Seth Markman, Senior Coordinating Producer for ESPN’s NFL Studio programs noted Dominik’s extensive experience in NFL’s front offices in discussing with reporters why he was brought on board.  “Mark has almost two decades of experience moving up the ranks in an NFL organization, so he’s well-versed in scouting, free agency, player development and so many of the issues we delve into each day on NFL Insiders,” he said.  “He adds another credible voice to our team and will make us even better.”

Dominik shared his own thoughts on joining NFL Insiders, noting how his experience will benefit the show.  He said of his new job, “I am excited to join ESPN and look forward to sharing my perspective on the kinds of issues and decisions general managers face daily within their organizations.”

Dominik is a native of St. Cloud, Minnesota.  He holds a Bachelor of Sport Management from the University of Kansas.  He spent nineteen years with Tampa Bay beginning as a Pro Personnel Assistant in 1995.  He was promoted to Pro Scout in 1998, then to Coordinator in 2000 and Director shortly thereafter.  He served in that position for nine years before being named the team’s General Manager in January 2009.

More information on ESPN’s NFL programming is available online at http://espn.go.com/nfl and http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN To Debut New NFL Mini-Series April 22nd

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

It’s only March.  But as any sports fan knows, it’s always football season.  In keeping with that understanding, ESPN announced this week, that it will debut a new four-week series focused on the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft this Spring in anticipation of the upcoming NFL season.

ESPN Draft Academy will debut Tuesday, April 22nd at 10pm ET on ESPN.  The four-week series follows this year’s crop of NFL hopefuls as they prepare for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, their individual Pro Days, and the upcoming NFL Draft.  The mini-series will focus on Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), Marqise Lee (USC), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood (Mo.) University) and Bishop Sankey (University of Washington).  Each episode runs one hour and will follow Jon Grudens QB Camp.

Matthew Volk, ESPN Director of Programming and Acquisitions, explained the premise of the mini-series in speaking with the media.  “Draft Academy follows some of the most talented, talked-about prospects as they train in pursuit of a top spot in the 2014 NFL Draft,” he said.  “The show will give fans an intimate look at these players as they pursue their goals of making it to the NFL.”

More information on ESPN’s Draft Academy is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp Returns This Spring

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will return this Spring.

Gruden’s series of SportsCenter specials will return this spring for its fifth season.  Gruden mentors a handful of college football’s top quarterbacks in the series, as they prepare to take the next step in their careers.  This year’s installment of Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will see nine of college football’s top quarterback prospects.  Those names include the likes of 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, two-time BCS National Champion A.J. McCarron of Alabama, and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.  The complete list of this year’s “QB Camp” participants is noted below.

2014 Gruden’s QB Camp participants:

Quarterback

School

Blake Bortles

Central Florida

Tajh Boyd

Clemson

Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville

Derek Carr

Fresno

Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois

Jordan Lynch

Northern Illinois

A.J. McCarron

Alabama

Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M

Aaron Murray

Georgia

 

Gruden prepares a specialized lesson plan of sorts for each of the participants in his “QB Camp.”  Through his specialized plan, he points out to each prospect, a balanced look at both their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to see where they need to improve in order to be successful NFL talent.  Over the past four seasons of his “QB Camp” Gruden has mentored no fewer than twenty-nine quarterbacks from twenty-seven schools.  Fourteen of those QBs went on to be NFL regular season starters.  Among the names that Gruden has mentored through his series are: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and current NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks.

Gruden’s “QB Camp” moves this year to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena at Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando.  It replaces Gruden’s Tampa office, where the “QB Camp” was previously held.  The new set will replicate his Tampa office, playfully dubbed the “Fired Football Coaches Association.”  The 220-acre facility also includes athletic fields, which will be used for quarterback workouts.

More information on Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” and all things NFL is available online now at http://espn.go.com/nfl and http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.