Tuesday October 26th, 2021 8:39AM

Networks realize draft drama without frills sometimes best

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Producer Charlie Yook and NFL Network didn't have their own draft broadcast last year, but he was able to glean a couple of things from last year's joint effort with ESPN.

The biggest is when it comes to the draft, sometimes simple works best and that it is OK to combine resources.

“I think we learned that there’s no point in having three cameras in one kid’s house. It’s also OK to be a little more casual for lack of a better word,” he said. “Shots don’t have to be with all these jillion dollar cameras. It can be done with iPhones. And I think it’s the last year taught if anything, it’s more important to be seen and heard with family than anything else.”

While 12 prospects will be in Cleveland waiting to be selected and pose with commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL has sent 45 camera kits to prospects homes with iPhones, lighting, a backdrop and the hats of each team.

NFL Network and ESPN will also have access to all 32 team war room cams after years of competing to see which teams they could get exclusive access.

Not having prospects on site will present their own challenges, especially if the first round goes as quick as last year. There were a couple of points last year where three selections had already been made before they were announced because players were still being interviewed.

Trevor Lawrence will not be in Cleveland, and may not be interviewed immediately after the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to make him the top pick because the New York Jets are up next.

“It is hard to interview someone who just got selected if they’re not there because this thing continues to move and the narrative shifts. If they’re not readily available to go, you probably won’t see a lot of those interviews,” Yook said.

“But that’s the body of this event. It just keeps going forward.”

NFL Network, ESPN and ABC will air coverage all three days. ABC will have its own unique broadcast the first two days before having the ESPN simulcast on Saturday.


NFL Network will have reporters at 11 team complexes, but ESPN will continue to have its reporters operate remotely.

Seth Markman, ESPN's VP of Production, said the decision was mainly for health and safety concerns.

“I think we could have done that, but it’s something that we just looked at that wasn't a must do for this year,” he said.

“We feel like our reporters are good enough at this point to be able to report on multiple teams from home. I know people like to be face to face, but that’s not really going to happen these days. So I think sending a reporter to a team facility would be more about style over substance anyway.”

Yook said it was important for NFL Network to have reporters there while observing all health and safety protocols.

NFL Network will debut new graphics along with having a higher level of highlighting players along with one-on-one matchups.


The night of the first round for many years was a rare chance Browns fans got to be in the spotlight, but after an 11-5 season and a playoff win for the first time since 1994, NFL Network host Rich Eisen is eager to see how Cleveland will respond to this year's festivities.

“I don’t recall ever being to an NFL draft where the Browns being put on the clock was met with anything but sarcastic derision by anyone in the stands,” he said. "I expect there to be a huge moment when they’re on the clock and when the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals are on the clock.

“When we go to cities for the draft, it is different vibes because they have different regional interests. I love it. I absolutely love it.”


Eisen's annual “Run Rich Run” fundraiser to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will air on Saturday.

Eisen usually does his 40-yard dash in Indianapolis during the NFL combine, but the event wasn't held this year.

Instead, Eisen did his run at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on April 17. It will also feature Jerry Rice, Ray Lewis, Cris Carter, Rod Woodson, Terrell Davis, Michael Vick, Torry Holt and Eric Metcalf.

With the Draft-A-Thon continuing for the second straight year, Eisen would like to see raising funds for charities made a permanent part of the draft.


Mike Greenberg becomes only the fifth host in ESPN's 42 years of doing the draft. He will host the first two days on ESPN with Rece Davis handling the final day.

Greenberg said discussions started in January after he mentioned to ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro a couple of years ago that he would like to be a part of more live sports coverage.

Despite the ebbs and flows of the draft, Greenberg thinks he is ready for the assignment. He also doesn't see it as long days on set after being accustomed to 4 to 5 hours of doing live television and radio a day.

“I know that this is a totally different animal, and a lot of things will be coming at me fast and furious. But at the end of the day, we’re there to present these incredibly important events that fans are interested in,” he said.


More AP NFL coverage: and

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Court upholds conviction of officer in slaying of Black man
An appeals court has upheld the manslaughter and attempted murder convictions of a Florida police officer who gunned down a stranded Black motorist
7:37PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Networks realize draft drama without frills sometimes best
Producer Charlie Yook and NFL Network didn’t have their own draft broadcast last year, but he was able to glean a couple of things from last year’s joint effort with ESPN
7:34PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Al Schmitt, Grammy winning engineer and producer, dead at 91
One of the world’s most honored musical producers and engineers has died
7:12PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Cavaliers' Love sorry for on-court tantrum: 'That wasn't me'
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has apologized for his on-court tantrum, saying his behavior was out of line and out of character
5:58PM ( 2 hours ago )
Kiley Neushul's retirement leaves hole on US water polo team
When the Tokyo Olympics was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. women's water polo star Kiley Neushul decided to retire from the national team
5:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Atlanta to allow full capacity at 2 stadiums
Atlanta’s two biggest outdoor pro sports stadiums will both allow 100% capacity at events beginning next month
5:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
AP Top 25 Podcast: NFL draft preview for 2022, CFP expansion
On the eve of the NFL draft, it's time to explore who will be going No. 1 in 2022
11:22AM ( 8 hours ago )
NFL draft could see record run of quarterbacks taken
As soon as the San Francisco 49ers traded three first round picks to move up to No. 3 overall, it became clear that quarterbacks would come off the board at a record pace
10:54AM ( 9 hours ago )
No charges against R&B artist Trey Songz over NFL scuffle
R&B artist Trey Songz will not face charges in an alleged altercation with police officers at the AFC championship game in Kansas City
6:56PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Audio publisher withdraws edition of new Philip Roth bio
The audiobook publisher of a new Philip Roth biography is pulling the release, following W
5:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
Early Biden news coverage more policy than character-driven
Early news coverage of the Biden administration focused more on policy than on character, a marked contrast to the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency
4:59PM ( 3 hours ago )
Astronaut Michael Collins, Apollo 11 pilot, dead of cancer
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins has died at age 90
4:40PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Leslie Jones to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards next month
Comedian-actor Leslie Jones will take the stage as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards next month
8:01AM ( 11 hours ago )
'Small Axe,' 'The Crown' lead race for UK's BAFTA TV awards
“Small Axe,” a series of dramas about London’s West Indian community, has received 15 nominations for the British Academy Television Awards
7:22AM ( 12 hours ago )
Where's Caitlyn? So far, Jenner's campaign is virtual
Caitlyn Jenner announced her candidacy for California governor last week but has yet to speak publicly about her campaign
7:06PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online TV News
UK firm Super Group entering US sports, online casino market
A British company that owns a sports betting and an online casino company is seeking to enter the fast-growing U.S. market
9:42AM ( 1 day ago )
Top two ACC offenses look to new faces to keep humming
The Atlantic Coast Conference's top offensive juggernauts will have new faces football coordinators expect will keep them humming along
9:13PM ( 1 day ago )
Trevor Lawrence adding cryptocurrency to his playbook
Trevor Lawrence, the likely No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, has signed an endorsement deal with cryptocurrency investment app Blockfolio
7:39PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Court upholds conviction of officer in slaying of Black man
An appeals court has upheld the manslaughter and attempted murder convictions of a Florida police officer who gunned down a stranded Black motorist
7:37PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Al Schmitt, Grammy winning engineer and producer, dead at 91
One of the world’s most honored musical producers and engineers has died
7:12PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Ford posts profit, says chip shortage may cut production 50%
Ford posted a surprising $3.26 billion profit in the first quarter, but the company says a worsening global computer chip shortage could cut its production in half during the current quarter
7:04PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Louisville officer shot in Breonna Taylor raid retiring
The Louisville police officer who fired at Breonna Taylor after being shot during the deadly raid on Taylor’s apartment is retiring
6:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Senate votes to reinstate methane rules loosened by Trump
Congressional Democrats are moving to reinstate regulations designed to limit potent greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas fields
6:55PM ( 1 hour ago )