“NFL Draft Live” will be the only place to see the announcement of every single pick made during rounds 4-7, from every location where the league’s 32 clubs have set up outposts. “We have cameras set up at each spot. ESPN won’t show it, NFL Network won’t show it and no other digital outlet has access to it,” an NFL Media rep said.
Of course, most general-public interest in live coverage of the draft cycle focuses on earlier rounds. The very first pick in the 2015 NFL draft — which news outlets considered worthy of breaking alerts — was Jameis Winston, the former Florida State U. quarterback who led the team to a national championship in 2013, drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.
But the NFL — the most popular sport in the U.S. — sees an opportunity to reach hardcore fans with the expanded coverage. “NFL Draft Live” will stream on NFL.com, NFL Mobile from Verizon Wireless, the NFL Now subscription service and Yahoo! Sports, as well as on connected-TV devices including Microsoft’s Xbox One, plus desktop and tablet devices.
Matt “Money” Smith will anchor coverage for “NFL Draft Live,” alongside analyst Lance Zierlein and a rotation of NFL Network analysts.
On TV, NFL Network’s coverage of rounds 4-7 kicks off Saturday at 12 p.m. ET from Chicago’s Grant Park. That will be hosted by Rich Eisen with Mike Mayock, Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah. From “Draft Town,” host Melissa Stark is to be joined by Northwestern U.’s football head coach Pat Fitzgerald and U. of Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.
After the 2015 NFL Draft concludes, NFL.com will provide coverage of the top un-drafted free agent signings and “quick snap” draft grades for all 32 of the league’s teams.