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ABC, ESPN announce schedule, commentator teams for 2019 NFL Draft


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Christian Wilkins headlines a large Clemson NFL Draft class.
Christian Wilkins headlines a large Clemson NFL Draft class.

The Walt Disney Company’s multi-network presentation of the 2019 NFL Draft, April 25-27 from Nashville, Tennessee, features an all-star cast of commentators and new roles for ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion Booger McFarland. Herbstreit will team with host Rece Davis and their eight-time Sports Emmy Award-winning College GameDay Built by The Home Depot crew for the 2019 NFL Draft on ABC, THURSDAY, APRIL 25 (8-11:30 p.m., ET) and FRIDAY, APRIL 26 (7-11:30 p.m., ET), live coast-to-coast on The ABC Television Network and via streaming. McFarland will make his NFL Draft debut on ESPN’s main set for Round 1 on Thursday, April 25 (8-11:30 p.m., ET).

Coverage will be more comprehensive than ever with ABC airing the event in its entirety for the first time and ESPN televising the draft for the 40th consecutive year. The NFL Draft will also air on NFL Network and be streamed via NFL digital properties.

“ABC and ESPN plans for the NFL Draft are more ambitious than ever with distinct prime-time telecasts across multiple networks featuring many of our most recognizable commentators from the NFL and college football,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN vice president of production. “From Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and our College GameDay crew, joined by sports broadcasting Hall of Famer Robin Roberts and other special guests on ABC, to Trey Wingo and the team of NFL experts and insiders on ESPN, we will cover the festivities in Nashville from every angle.”

ESPN’s draft telecasts, presented for the fourth year by Courtyard, will be X’s- and O’s-focused, packed with expert insight and analysis for the most passionate of football fans. Trey Wingo will host Round 1 for the third year, with NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., covering his 36th draft, and NFL analysts Louis Riddick, his fifth, and McFarland. NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay, who will be covering his 11th draft; NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter and NFL host Suzy Kolber will also contribute to Thursday’s prime-time telecast. On Friday and Saturday, McShay will join Wingo, Kiper and Riddick at the main set for Rounds 2-7.

ABC will provide differentiated coverage for Rounds 1-3 in prime time that focuses on the journey of the NFL Draft prospects, as viewers go up close and personal to understand the part their families play in their success and the hard work involved in attempting to become an NFL Draft selection. In addition, ABC broadcasts will center on the energy and excitement of the complete event, as coverage will include celebrity appearances and other nods to the host city of Nashville.

On ABC’s prime-time broadcasts, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET and April 26 at 7 p.m. ET – live from coast-to-coast, Davis and Herbstreit – who lives in Nashville and was part of ESPN’s main set in 2018 – will be joined by analysts Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack and reporter Tom Rinaldi. The 2019 NFL Draft on ABC will also feature Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, ESPN’s Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor and a number of special guests to be announced, including Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback and 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. ABC will simulcast ESPN’s telecast of Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 27, beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

In addition, all seven rounds of the NFL Draft will also be streamed live via the ESPN App, broadcast on ESPN Radio and televised in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.

On ESPN Radio, commentators include: Dari Nowkhah, Chris Canty, Ian Fitzsimmons and Mike Tannenbaum, the former Miami Dolphins and New York Jets front office executive.

On ESPN Deportes, commentators include: Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega, Miguel Pasquel, Sebastian Martinez-Christensen, Monday Night Football’s Alvaro Martin and Raul Allegre, and special guests. Additionally, Kenneth Garay and Carlos Nava will serve as commentators for the Spanish-language radio broadcast.

2019 NFL Draft Schedule:

Thursday, April 25 (8-11:30 p.m. ET): NFL Draft, Round 1 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

Friday, April 26 (7-11:30 p.m. ET): NFL Draft, Rounds 2 and 3 – ABC, ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

Saturday, April 27 (12-7 p.m. ET): NFL Draft, Rounds 4–7 – ABC (simulcast of ESPN telecast), ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

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