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Trey Wingo calls the NFL draft the most unpredictable event in all of sports television. “We don’t have a script; there is no second take Colts Quenton Nelson Jersey ,” the longtime ESPN anchor said this week. “It plays out as it plays out. You could have made a lot of money last year if you put down a prop bet saying we would use the words ‘gas mask bong’ on the first night of the NFL draft.”
Of all the production bells and whistles for ESPN and the NFL Network coming this week from the NFL Draft Theatre at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, the most notable change in either production is Wingo anchoring the first night of the NFL draft for ESPN. He replaces Chris Berman, who is stepping away from the event after hosting it for ESPN since 1987. For viewers, this is a positive development. The addition of Wingo on night one and Louis Riddick solidifying his role as one of the focal points of ESPN’s coverage has (at least in my mind) made it an even draw on which network to watch. (In years past, the first night of the NFL draft was always an NFL Network night at La Casa Deitsch.)
Wingo said the only thing that will change regarding his preparation this year is that there will be more of it. “The first round of the draft are names even casual football fans are somewhat familiar with, so the only difference is doing what I do for Rounds 2–7 and applying those things for Round 1,” said Wingo, whose first assignment was in 2001 as part of a live ESPN streaming broadcast.
Article continues below ... Media Circus: Behind the scenes with CBS on Sergio Garcia's winning putt I asked Wingo if he considers the NFL Network a competitor. “Absolutely Colts Tyquan Lewis Jersey ,” he said. “We are both trying to get the same audience. While there is no question there is competition, I do think there is a friendly camaraderie about all this.”
Both networks have a lot in store for you as first round coverage from Philadelphia kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds 2–3 air Friday beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Rounds 4–7 start at noon on Saturday.
Once again both networks have agreed that their staffers will not tip picks on social media during the first round prior to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the pick at the podium.
Here’s a breakdown of each network’s coverage:
• Wingo will host all seven rounds for the first time. He’s joined by analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden and Riddick in Round 1, and Kiper, Riddick and Todd McShay for Rounds 2–7. Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter and Suzy Kolber will also be part of ESPN’s coverage onsite in Philadelphia. The reporters at team facilities include Josina Anderson (Browns), Jeff Darlington (49ers), Britt McHenry (Cardinals) Cheap Ryan Switzer Jersey , Sal Paolantonio (Jets) and Ed Werder (Saints).
“There are no real production changes happening based on Trey replacing Chris,” said ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman. “Trey is a pro. He’s been ready for this opportunity for many years. We always felt fortunate to have him waiting in the wings. Chris basically invented the position of being the host of draft coverage. We will miss him but know we are in the best hands possible. The one advantage Trey has is that he works with these guys for weeks leading up to the draft and he has met with Jon down in Tampa. He lives this stuff every day and I think the viewers will see that.”
• ESPN’s NFL draft personnel held a pre-draft meeting in Tampa at Gruden’s office (the site of his QB Camp show) last week where Gruden, Kiper, Kolber, Riddick, Wingo and a handful of producers sat around a table and talked about this year’s prospects. “It was a chance to get everyone together and go through what may or may not happen,” Wingo said. “It’s truly one of the great days of the year. For me, it was great to get a sense of where they [his analysts] might go with a player and that really helps me ask my questions of them.”
Phil Simms to join CBS's The NFL Today studio show as analyst this fall • ESPN said the first hour of its draft coverage will air with limited commercial interruption for the sixth straight year.
As mentioned above Falcons Logan Paulsen Jersey , Markman says that ESPN staffers will not tweet out picks in the first round ahead of Goodell. “We will allow our staffers to tweet any behind the scenes conversations teams are having, trade talks, debates, etc., but what we won’t allow is for them to flat out give away draft picks before the commissioner announces them,” Markman said. “As I have said in the past, our viewers have overwhelmingly told us that they do not want us to spoil the drama of the draft in any way. This goes for Twitter, too. I realize that there are those who disagree with this approach Cheap DJ Chark Jersey , but we are not in the business of angering our loyal viewers and I personally like the unspoiled nature of this event. Fans love sitting on the edge of their seats to hear what the commissioner says. Trust me, Adam Schefter could easily report who each team is going to pick minutes before the commissioner announces it. That would be terrible TV and he has no interest in proving that he could do this anyway.”
• Regarding production highlights, ESPN said it has close to 500 player highlight packages, 50 player personality bumps and more than 40 specialty technical breakdowns with analysis from Gruden, Riddick and McShay. Those who deserve citations here are lea.