The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented by both ESPN and NFL Network on April 23-25, the league announced Monday.
ESPN and NFL Network will combine to provide a singular presentation across both outlets. ABC will air a separate primetime draft broadcast on Thursday and Friday before simulcasting the ESPN/NFL Network feed on Saturday.
The draft, which initially was slated to be held in Las Vegas, will originate from ESPN’s Bristol (Conn.) studios.
The telecast will adhere to proper social distancing guidelines with respect to the coronavirus. Draft hosts and commentators will be in-studio while a majority of the analysts, reporters and other experts will contribute remotely from home studios.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the first-round draft picks from his home in Bronxville, N.Y.
“We recognize the challenging times we are living in, but we are looking forward to presenting the 2020 NFL Draft and providing some hope for football fans everywhere,” said Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production.
“For the past couple of years, ESPN’s NFL and college teams have worked together on our draft coverage, and it has been a win for our viewers. This year, we are further excited to collaborate with the NFL Network creating an All Star broadcast. We are also committed to producing the ESPN/NFL Network and ABC shows in the safest possible environment for our announcers and production teams.”
“We are excited to partner with ESPN to present a unique and collaborative broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Network.
“By bringing the exceptional on-air talent and production staffs of both ESPN and NFL Network together, we hope to deliver a unified presentation of the draft that not only helps raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 relief efforts, but also provides entertainment that millions of sports fans have been craving.”
The NFL previously announced the names of the 58 players who will participate virtually in the ESPN/NFL Network joint broadcast. Among them are LSU quarterback Joe Burrow — expected to go No. 1 overall — Ohio State teammates Chase Young (defensive end) and Jeff Okudah (cornerback), Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 1 overall selection after finishing the 2019 season with a 2-14 record. Their selection will be followed by the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will draft last in the first round, 32nd overall.
The NFL will host a telethon during the draft that will raise money for six nonprofit charities engaged in coronavirus relief efforts.
—Field Level Media