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One-of-a-kind NFL Draft will have unique broadcast, too

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The league and its broadcast partners have finalized their plans for the Social Distancing Edition of the league’s annual event.

NFL: APR 25 2019 NFL Draft Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We already knew that the 2020 NFL Draft was going to be a different event than we usually see. But on Monday, the league and its draft broadcast partners announced their final plans for how the telecast will be presented.

The biggest change is there will not be competing live telecasts from ESPN and NFL Network. The NFL Newtork studios in both New York and California have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but ESPN studios in Connecticut remain open. So the two networks will cooperate to produce a single show that will be carried on both networks simultaneously.

Trey Wingo will anchor the live broadcast from an ESPN studio, joined remotely by fellow ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Louis Riddick and Booger McFarland — along with NFLN host Rich Eisen and fellow analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner. ESPN host Suzy Kolber will conduct remote interviews with draft prospects from another Connecticut studio, while ESPN insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will provide updates from their respective homes.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington will be providing remote updates specific to the Kansas City Chiefs.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will continue to announce the early-round picks — but he will be appearing from his home.

ABC will continue to offer their own coverage of Round 1 through Round 3 on Thursday and Friday nights, shifting to a simulcast of the ESPN/NFLN coverage on Saturday.

ABC’s broadcast — focusing on the stories of the draft prospects and their families — will be hosted by Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor. Along with feature reporter Tom Rinaldi, they will be located in an ESPN studio in Connecticut. NFL analyst Todd McShay and college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack will contribute remotely.

McShay will join the ESPN/NFLN broadcast on Saturday.

ESPN Desportes will also provide their own exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the draft. Coverage will also be available through SiriusXM, Westwood One and ESPN Radio.


Schedule

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 23 (7 - 10:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
  • Rounds 2 and 3: Friday, April 24 (6 - 10:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
  • Rounds 4 - 7: Saturday, April 25 (11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Arrowhead Time)

Players

While there will be no green room where top prospects gather, these players have been invited to appear remotely during the draft broadcast:

  • WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
  • OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
  • DT Ross Blacklock, TCU
  • DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
  • QB Joe Burrow, LSU
  • EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
  • WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
  • OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
  • G Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
  • S Grant Delpit, LSU
  • RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
  • QB Jacob Eason, Washington
  • DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
  • QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
  • CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
  • DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
  • EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
  • CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
  • QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
  • WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
  • Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB
  • CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
  • WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
  • OT Austin Jackson, USC
  • WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
  • WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  • CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
  • OT Josh Jones, Houston
  • S Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota
  • DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
  • TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
  • WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
  • EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama
  • QB Jordan Love, Utah St.
  • DT Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
  • S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
  • WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
  • TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU
  • LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
  • CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
  • EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
  • LB Patrick Queen, LSU
  • WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
  • G Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
  • WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado
  • LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
  • RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
  • QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
  • RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
  • CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
  • OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
  • LB Josh Uche, Michigan
  • OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
  • OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
  • OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
  • EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State