Not everyone got the memo about not tipping picks


The NFL tried to put some of the suspense back into the draft this year by telling its TV partners not to give picks away before the commissioner announced them, and not to show players on the phone with the team that was about to draft them. But the reality of the information age is that it’s virtually impossible to keep information under wraps.

The league lets NFL Network and ESPN know ahead of time who the pick will be so the networks can have their graphics and highlight packages ready to go as soon as the name is called. That allows the on-air people to know, too, and some picks were still given away in advance — or at least strongly hinted at — by the on-air talent on the TV networks. ESPN’s Chris Berman, the man who was widely blamed for the trend of giving picks away — often just seconds before the name came out of the commissioner’s mouth — has backed off on his old practice of ruining the suspense while the commissioner walks to the podium. But there were still times when Berman and other on-air people made comments just before the picks were announced that strongly hinted they had already been told.

As soon as the team on the clock turns in its card, the NFL tells every other team who the pick is, and the next team is put on the clock. Sometimes the card is turned in several minutes before the commissioner announces it, and that means everyone in every NFL draft room — hundreds of people — knows the pick for several minutes before it’s announced. All it takes is one of those hundreds of people to put the pick on Twitter, and it’s out.

That’s what everyone who follows Seahawks owner Paul Allen on Twitter found out Thursday night: Allen repeatedly posted the picks as soon as he learned of them, often several minutes before Roger Goodell made his announcement. Allen did that with most of the picks in the first half of the first round before stopping after his own team picked Bruce Irvin at No. 15. Other insiders on Twitter had occasional leaked information, and the Bears tweeted their pick of Shea McClellin before Goodell announced it.

Some fans want no one — not members of the media, not team officials, no one — to give any picks away until Goodell announces them. Others would argue that there’s a distinction between a guy like Berman tipping the pick because he’s been told whose name is on the card and a reporter like ESPN’s Adam Schefter repeating what his sources have told him about who the team on the clock likes. And some fans want to know the pick as soon as it’s been decided from whatever source has the information, and don’t want to wait until Goodell and the TV networks are ready to put the pick on the air.

If the NFL really wants to clamp down on tipping picks, it could stop telling the networks in advance, and wait until the commissioner announces one team’s pick before putting the next team on the clock. But even then, a few people would know the pick before Goodell announced it, and all it takes is one to let the cat out of the bag. In a world of virtually limitless sources of information, there’s probably nothing the NFL can do to make Roger Goodell the only person who gives draft picks away.

66 responses to “Not everyone got the memo about not tipping picks

  1. I don’t get the complaint in general. If we’re finding out a few minutes before the Commish says it, there’s still the suspense of the draft.

  2. I was trying to watch the draft and my friend following Schefter on Twitter was telling me the damn picks and trades 2-4 minutes ahead of time. Mayock was trying guess what was happening and I could of called and told him. All the suspense was lost.

  3. All it takes is one of those hundreds of people to put the pick on Twitter, and it’s out.
    So just don’t go on Twitter on draft night. If you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t go to a social media website where you are likely to be spoiled. Jeez. It’s not that complicated.

  4. Good to see after the seahawks reached for their troubled pick Allen stopped. Must’ve realized he should’ve been paying attention to the mistakes his team is making.

  5. I like the suspense and got a little annoyed when they would basically state as fact who teams were going to take (talking about Berman, Gruden, and Kiper). For example when Dallas traded up I thought it COULD be for Barron and not Claiborne.

    However the twitter stuff doesn’t bother me at all… I didn’t want to ruin the surprise so I stayed off twitter. Problem solved.

  6. Twerps like Schefter can’t resist tipping the picks on Twitter in the “Omigosh who’s first” national media world. Even though he likely found them out in advance through ESPN, not his own reporting.

  7. No one cares about what happened on ESPN, they are awful. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Chris Berman still has a job. Who is responsible for that? WHAT does he bring to the table? Did you guys see how miserable Gruden looked sitting next to him? He has no clue, at all, and even if he did, he takes 10 minutes to get his point (if you can call it that) across. How long does it take to figure that out? Good riddance.

  8. Schefter did as well on his twitter. Jason LaConfora did in his own way. “I would put it past the Seahawks taking….” then that was the pick. The NFL network did a good job, so I turned off my phone and just watched

  9. If reporters like Schefter were simply saying a couple guys there sources said the team liked, that would be one thing. But he routinely tweeted out who the pick was definitely going to be before the official announcement. And then he started flat out going on TV and announcing the pick a couple of times. For example, with Tennessee’s pick in at #20 — but not yet announced by the commissioner — Schefter came on TV to “break the news” that the 21st pick had been traded and that New England was taking Chandler Jones. Again, the 21st pick was announced, on air, before the 20th pick had even been announced by the commissioner, on air.

    I get the need to be the first guy to break a trade or other news throughout the year, but why the need to do it during the draft? Especially when the commissioner had specifically asked for “tipping” (or in this case, flat out telling) to not happen this year.

  10. If this is a problem, then remove Goodell from the announcement of the picks. Go the way of the NHL and have each team send a rep to the podium to announce their pick. Of course, the team can still twitter the pick, but thats only a few moments and it will only take one twitter “smokescreen” before you can’t rely on that info.

  11. I noticed RG3 and Kalill’s ties matched their drafting teams colors. Then the beer started kicking in…..

  12. Sorry, I don’t buy any of the reasons for communicating out the pick before the commish announces it.

    No reason at all.. It only takes a few seconds to type a guy’s name and call up the pre-staged graphics.

    If the guy’s in the green room, he’s ready to go. No need for a pre-pick phone call.

    The teams have a lot of people keeping track of who’s available and who’s been picked. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to take one name off the board every few minutes.

  13. We’re in the information age and the NFL is trying to slow down the transmission? Sorry NFL it’s not going to work. Try getting the commish to read the picks a bit faster.

  14. I was listening to the NFL Network and had their own NFL Draft Tracker open in another window. The NFL’s own draft tracker had the picks listed several minutes before the announcement.

  15. I’m really surprised at home many people still watch ESPN’s draft coverage. NFLNetwork does it so much better.

  16. The networks get tipped the pick so that they can que up all the video on the player and have it immediately availible. I dont mind that, just dont have the network tip the pick before the commish announces it. Its not that hard.

  17. I wish the NFL would leave my draft alone. I used to spend 2 days intently watching rounds 1-7. I don’t care if Boomer says “Seattles going to take ____” Its the excitement of the whole process.

    The NFL is ruining that with splitting it up and making it “for TV”. Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous to watch the draft and have a screen in the background tell me they are 4 picks ahead of the one being announced but those are being held back because of TV and trying to “build suspense”.

    Not every endeavor has to be a marketing ploy. The mystique of the draft was that it was the closet a fan could get to being in a war room. You get the info from the media guys, you read blogs online (such as this one) and you could literally sit back and guess at who might be getting taken. Now, its just another marketing stunt built to appeal to the masses. The masses that will have nothing to do with today’s round or tomorrows. It’s a joke.

  18. Waiting for the podium announcement is by far the most suspenseful and entertaining way to go.

    Goodell needs to put on that Sherriff’s badge and slap people with big fines who leak the picks in the moments before. That should help.

  19. Simple solution: Stop looking at Twitter during the draft.

    As for TV, I thought the NFL Network did an EXCELLENT job covering the draft. The guys did their best not to tip the pick and it was refreshing to see guys like Mayock actually not getting the pick right. The surprise was there the whole time.

    Well done, guys.

  20. The NFL Network did a great job of not giving any hints. I watched the top 7 on ESPN and they showed every frigin player about to be taken crying or shaking hands prior to the announcement.

    So I opted for non-HD NFL network over those idiots, and I was very happy with the coverage.

    Plus Mayock is just phenomenal

  21. I watched the entire draft on NFL network minus twitter. Pretty much no tipping of picks. Mynock was guessing picks but that is expected.

    I enjoyed it more than in years.

  22. As a guy who didn’t know the sex of his 3 children until the moment they were born, I would not have minded if the first I heard but when Kommissar, er, I mean Commissioner Goodell announced the pick. What really bothered me was the “insider” Adam Schedter or Chris Mortenaon graphic in the screen announcing the pick. Using the word insider made it all about ESPN and th reminding you they have the people who know first. They just can’t help themselves. And Berman is beyond tired.

  23. I think in this day and age it is pretty much
    Impossible to keep the real suspense. With that said, I would love if the nfl decided to put the gm or coach live on air to Announce the pick. That would be much better than Goodell walking up there.

  24. When’s the memo coming out about not taking a half hour to hug everyone you know when you’ve been picked before you come out to the Commissioner for the love-fest with him? Wow, is that annoying. How about come out, do your thing and then go celebrate with your peeps?

    By the way, I love how they embrace the Commissioner like he’s the greatest guy in the history of history and immediately after they sign their contracts, they hate his guts like he’s Hitler, Satan and Bin-Laden all rolled in to one and then that schmuck who heads the Players Fraternity (that ain’t a union) becomes the greatest guy in the history of history.

  25. Are people this dumb or addicted to technology.
    Turn off ur twitter acct, silence ur texts, and enjoy the draft.

  26. Berman is a total douche. I turned to NFL Network after Berman kept “guessing” every pick correctly.

  27. And this is exactly why I didnt have my phone on, my tablet was in another room, and I left just the NFL network on.

    I like the suspense of watching Goodell walking up to the podium.

    The only problem I had with it this season (and it isnt a huge complaint) is that the kids present at the draft were taking too long on the stage. At one point, 3 picks were in before any were announced, just because some kids had to get pictures taken.

    Im all for these guys getting their moment of recognition, but that moment has turned into 15 minutes on the stage with everyone they know present.

    I had a great time watching it last night. But it helped that I am happy for the first time in a very long time with the Eagles first round selection.

    Perhaps it was because Heckert is now gone…

  28. Did anyone else notice Gruden totally tip the Dontari Poe pick (trying to make it look like he was ‘predicting’ this would be the next pick) and then Berman and Kiper were stunned and silent after Gruden ‘predicted’ that. And then Berman broke the awkward silence with some gabble about Edward Allen Poe (haha good one “Boom”). It was awkward.

  29. I loved the suspense of not knowing who was going where, with the few picks that Shefty and Berman ruined for me. Twitter is one thing, but live TV is another.

  30. Lol ok heres a possible suggestion, people find every reason to complain. For example people are complaining that picks were released early through twitter. So If there was only a way to stay off twitter for 3 hours straight, but who can do that? Like if someone gets off twitter after being on for 3-4 hours straight they might be tempted to get a life, and who wants that?

  31. way to screw up/omit the biggest travesty guys…
    Adam Shefter reported, on air last night that New England moved up to the 21st pick to take Chandler Jones….only problem is/was, Tennessee was still on the clock, hadn’t made their pick, and didn’t for another 4 minutes…and THEY needed/need a Rushing End for their horrible pass rush…so all they had to do was take Jones and Shefter would have cost NE their pick…how does THAT happen and why was ESPN putting that out there? not good guys…

  32. Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous to watch the draft and have a screen in the background tell me they are 4 picks ahead of the one being announced but those are being held back because of TV and trying to “build suspense”.



    I hated the Draft coverage for this very reason. I wish I had known about the twitter feeds giving out the real time picks. I would have found it several orders of magnitude more exciting than what was televised.

  33. Honestly. I am not a fan of the dog and pony show that Goodell does. I didn’t like it when the networks were racing against each other to tip the pick, that was utterly ridiculous. But only because they were leaving nothing to the imagination. I can deal with a prospect on the phone here or an announcer tip there but not for every single pick.

    But this isn’t any better. At one point there were like 4 picks in and instead of announcing them one after the other in one podium trip, Goodell made 4 separate trips to the podium. That is useless. The picks are in get it over with and tell us already.

  34. The picks would be out sooner if we didn’t have to wait for every green room guy getting his wedding photos done on the stage after the pick is announced and bro-hugs the commish. Have them do that crap backstage or something.

    I loved the pace of last night’s draft. Round one always seems to drag on and on. I do miss the 2 day weekend event that it used to be, though.

    And to answer someone on why we watch ESPN…because some cable networks and the NFL network cannot come to terms so we are stuck with them. I’d prefer the NFL network coverage if I could get it.

  35. I thought the NFL Network did a pretty good job last night. I would have like to seen a little more college film footage and could have done without Michael Irvin’s cotton mouth and Dion’s fake smile. But, other than those things, I think they did a solid job.

  36. Weird. Cuz i watched the nfl network via the internet and other than the 1st 2 pix the predicted EVERY pick wrong

  37. Maybe Goodell should take away two second round draft choices from the Seahawks for this total disregard of his rules.

    The Seahawks were well aware of what Goodell said prior to the draft, and their owner no less, took it upon himself to blast everyone’s pick.

    Here you go Goodell, time to enforce your rules.

    It doesn’t matter that nobody was “hurt” because of this disregard of your rules, just that they disregarded your rules…..

  38. I thought that ESPN had better looking production, but I switched to NFLN as they were doing a much better job of not spoiling the picks.

  39. Like most people, I like the anticipation of finding out the pick when it’s officially announced – that’s the whole point in sitting down and watching the draft!!!

    If you want to just know who’s picked ASAP before it’s officially announced, don’t watch. Use twitter or whatever. Kudos to the NFL for doing this for the televised draft.

  40. Berman’s shelf life has long past expired. He sounds like Curley from the 3 Stooges when doing highlights with all of those stupid noises he makes.

  41. I like how ESPN in general deliberately ignored the request. It does take away from the suspense. The loop hole was posting graphics of Shefter’s Insider. What a joke. But one time he was wrong though.

  42. Last nights NFL Network broadcast was still the best it’s been in awhile because for the most part you really didn’t know who it was until the commissioner announced it. The guys on air made their guesses and they “especially” Mayock were usually wrong for the most part which made it even more fun.

    Please continue the trend of not letting the audience know who it is because it makes the show 100 times more fun and entertaining.

  43. I was annoyed with how long it took the Commish to annouce the picks. Once the pick is in, he should be annoucing it to everyone (teams, media, everyone) all at once. All at the same time.

    The whole dog and pony show of giving the Commish the biggest hug in the world is a complete joke and wastes time.

    I want suspense AND I want to be up to date!

  44. I don’t follow the tweeter. Gotta watch the draft on NFLN! Mayock kept speculating on who the picks would be on NFLN, but wasn’t really giving anything away. I try my best to avoid the annoying personalities that act like they’re bigger than the game on ESPN.

  45. I was pretty sure NFL Network would not ignore the request … so I enjoyed a suspenseful night with Eisen and Mayock. Between the fun of waiting for the announcements (although Goodell could try getting to the podium a little faster) and intrigue of the trades, that was the best first round I’ve watched in years!

  46. I like how Schefter waited until teams announced their pick in other ways and then he stole the info and announced it as a “scoop”. He does this every year and every other ESPN “journalist” pats him on the back as this crafty insider. Ban Schefter and any other minion ESPN or Fox Sports (Jay Glazer) prematurely announces and the problem is solved. OR just let the networks guys announce their “scoop” and stop worrying about supposed leaked info.

    Instead of warning teams, Goodell should put the warnings to the NFL network, ESPN, and Fox sports. Leak the info and you’re banned from the draft. There are 2 more days to figure this out.

  47. Living outside the US I couldn’t watch the live broadcast on tv, but Jay Glazer honestly made me turn off the Fox Sports radio broadcast, b/c he simply could not help but announce each pick 15 seconds before it was official, just to prove that famous people text him stuff. Super annoying in a live format that little ball of meat is.

  48. This year was much, much, much better than last year. It’s not that hard to stay away from Twitter if one doesn’t want to see spoilers. There were few glaringly bad spoilers on the broadcast (Schefter breaking on air the Chandler Jones pick being the one that immediately comes to mind).

  49. Guys, if you were Roger Goodell’s urologist LIKE I AM you would all understand the frequent delays between picks… he can’t have a complete emptying of his bladder. But if he took Super Beta Prostate like Joe Theissman did, he COULD have a complete emptying of his bladder, and would not need to leave the stage to urinate so often.

    Oh and yes, it’s little but it’s strangely-pointy-looking! 8-o

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