Disney is delivering a massive presentation of the 2021 NFL Draft, scheduled to begin on April 29th at 8 p.m. EDT. Content will go live across ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, and the ESPN App, with 1,500 creative elements, 450 player highlight packages, and 35 player vignettes planned for the event.
Disney is also partnering with Marvel, NFL Network, and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok for the event, with broadcasts, analysts, predictions, and recaps planned for every type of fan.
2021 NFL Draft: TV Coverage
ESPN and ABC will be the main hub for live coverage, and will cover the three-day event with 50 cameras and mics reporting live from Cleveland. The networks will have more than 40 additional cameras at the homes of Draft prospects, and another 32 cameras offering looks into each NFL Draft room.
If you watch the 2021 NFL Draft on ESPN, Mike Greenberg will host the primetime telecasts in Cleveland on April 29th and April 30th. Greenberg joins senior NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., NFL analysts Louis Riddick and Booger McFarland, Senior NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, and NFL host Suzy Kolber, who will interview draftees.
ABC viewers will watch Rece Davis host the primetime broadcasts in Cleveland on April 29th and April 30th. Davis will be joined by college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, and senior NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay. From a nearby set, Maria Taylor will host with college football analysts Jesse Palmer and David Pollack. Taylor will also interview the family members of NFL draftees.
Following the primetime events, the ABC and ESPN teams will combine to present Day 3 of the NFL Draft with Davis, Kiper, McShay, Riddick, Mortensen, and Schefter offering commentary and recaps.
The ABC and ESPN teams will also preview the NFL Draft on editions of “College GameDay” and “NFL Draft Countdown.” Pre-event coverage begins April 29th and April 30th at 5 p.m. EDT and Saturday at 11 a.m. EDT, all on ESPN. Davis and Taylor will host “College GameDay” April 29th and April 30thm and Laura Rutledge will host on May 1st. Rutledge will also report from the red carpet for “College GameDay” ahead of Round 1. Greenberg will host “NFL Draft Countdown.”
On ESPN Deportes, “Monday Night Football” voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega will offer exclusive Spanish-language coverage from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Reporter Rebeca Landa and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen will provide reports. ESPN’s coverage of the 2021 NFL Draft will also air internationally, reaching more than 60M households in Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, the Netherlands and Africa.
The 2021 NFL Draft will also be televised on NFL Network and streamed live through NFL digital properties. “SportsNation”’s NFL Draft Digital Show will also stream live Rounds 1-3, across the ESPN App, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and – in an ESPN first – TikTok.
ESPN will surround the three-day event with coverage across all platforms and countdown to Round 1 with a 26-hour “Draft Marathon” across ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS.
The following NFL reporters will appear on a variety of shows sharing the latest news from around the league: Jeff Darlington (covering the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jaguars, Packers), Dan Graziano (Bengals, Chargers, Giants, Lions, 49ers), Kimberley A. Martin (Bills, Browns, Panthers, Vikings, Washington), Sal Paolantonio (Colts, Eagles, Jets, Ravens, Steelers), Mike Reiss (Patriots), Dianna Russini (Bears, Falcons, Raiders, Saints, Titans), Lindsey Thiry (Rams) and Ed Werder (Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Seahawks, Texans).
Laura Rutledge will host “NFL Live” from Cleveland April 28-30 with NFL analysts Mina Kimes, Dan Orlovsky, Marcus Spears and Ryan Clark. The daily NFL news and information show will air at its regular time on April 28 (4-5 p.m. EDT) and expand to two hours April 29-30 (3-5 p.m. EDT), leading into “College GameDay.” The noon EDT edition of “SportsCenter” will also expand for Draft coverage April 29-30, airing live until 3 p.m. EDT. Rutledge will host segments from Cleveland during the three-hour programs. “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” will air at 11:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN following primetime presentations of the Draft with more reaction, analysis, and interviews.
Leading up to the Draft, editions of “SportsCenter” will air related content, including a series narrated by anchor Kevin Negandhi that explores the Draft needs of the Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, 49ers and more, as well as a virtual reality series with analyst Dan Orlovsky breaking down the top five quarterbacks. “SportsCenter” also will air Draft-related excerpts from other ESPN shows including “Hey Rookie,” “Detail: Tebow,” “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit” and a series of vignettes on Draft prospects.
ACC Network will air an hourlong “The Huddle: Draft Preview” on April 29 at 6 p.m. EDT. Host Kelsey Riggs along with ACCN college football analysts Eric Mac Lain and EJ Manuel will break down what will make players successful at the next level. The show will also cover player arrivals and interviews leading into ESPN and ABC’s NFL Draft coverage.
ESPN’s daily sports betting news and information program “Daily Wager” will have NFL Draft content every day leading up to the Draft, including discussing Draft prop bets for every team in the league. “Daily Wager” will dedicate almost all of the April 28rh show to Draft content, airing from 6-7 p.m. EDT on ESPN2. The weekday show will air at an earlier time April 29-30 (4 p.m. EDT, ESPN2).
Following the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN will release Kiper’s Draft Grades (the foundation for “SportsCenter Special: Draft Grades” on May 4) and “Early Impact” Rookies (May 4) as well as McShay’s best picks for all 32 teams (May 1). Additionally, McShay will look ahead to next year with a Way-Too-Early 2022 Mock Draft on May 6, Kiper will unveil his Way-Too-Early 2022 Big Board on May 11, and NFL Nation will break down the biggest post-draft questions for all 32 teams on May 12. In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will have a team dedicated to covering the Draft, providing pre-Draft analysis, pieces written by Sebastian Martinez-Christensen and videos of every selection.
2021 NFL Draft: Social Media
This year, ESPN’s live digital show for the NFL Draft will be anchored by “SportsNation” on Thursday and Friday and accessible across the ESPN App, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. The show will focus on reactions and engagement from fans both on-site in Cleveland and across social media.
Ashley Brewer, Treavor Scales, and Mike Golic, Jr. will host from the main set, and will be joined by a lineup of ESPN’s digital commentators including Mina Kimes and Harry Lyles as well as instant analysis from Matthew Berry, Jason Fitz and Field Yates. Together, they will deliver pick-by-pick coverage through the fans’ perspective with off-stage moments. The show will also feature first-round reaction from “First Take” commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman and player vignettes from “SportsCenter” anchor Kevin Negandhi. Additionally, it will create real-time video highlights and moments for the ESPN App, YouTube, and across social platforms.
ESPN social media teams will produce live shows, videos, graphics and unique storytelling across Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook. “SportsCenter”’s social channels will have an exclusive, all-access Instagram takeover with former Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II and ESPN’s Instagram Story experience will take followers behind the scenes: arrivals, fashion on the red carpet, and more. Plus, Najee Harris will take over the ESPNNFL Instagram on date.
2021 NFL Draft: Radio Coverage
Outside of traditional television, ESPN Radio “SportsCenter” anchors Elle Duncan and Kevin Negandhi will lead NFL Draft broadcasts April 29th and April 30th, alongside NFL Front Office Insider Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN Radio’s Bart Scott, and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons. Duncan and Kevin Negandhi will also kick off next Thursday and Friday morning co-hosting ESPN’s “Get Up” from 8-10 a.m. EDT. ESPN Radio’s coverage will continue on May 1st with host Jason Fitz, NFL Draft analyst and Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy, Tannenbaum, and Fitzsimmons. Saturday’s NFL Draft on ESPN Radio coverage will also be simulcast on many of ESPN’s digital and social platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.
A multicast show with ESPN Radio will be live-streamed for Saturday’s coverage featuring Golic Jr., Scales and Yates.
2021 NFL Draft: Marvel Partnership
ESPN and Marvel Entertainment have teamed up again for this year’s NFL Draft, designing custom comic book covers depicting seven Draft prospects – Najee Harris, Trevor Lawrence, DeVonta Smith, Azeez Ojulari, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kwity Paye and Zach Wilson, featuring Marvel themes that pay homage to original Marvel Comics covers while promoting the upcoming NFL Draft. Covers will be unveiled in the days leading up to the Draft, with Trevor Lawrence’s cover being revealed live on “College GameDay” during Draft coverage on April 29.
photo credit: abc