ESPN once again won’t tip picks in the draft

Getty Images

Several years ago, the NFL began telling broadcast partners to instruct their employees not to spoil the contrived drama of the NFL draft by disclosing the picks before they officially are announced. ESPN has reiterated its intention not to tip picks, without mentioning that the NFL doesn’t want them to do it.

“We will allow our staffers to tweet any behind the scenes conversations teams are having, trade talks, debates, etc., but what we won’t allow is for them to flat out give away draft picks before the Commissioner announces them,” ESPN senior coordinator producer Seth Markman told Richard Deitsch of SI.com. “As I have said in the past, our viewers have overwhelmingly told us that they do not want us to spoil the drama of the draft in any way. This goes for Twitter, too.

“I realize that there are those who disagree with this approach, but we are not in the business of angering our loyal viewers and I personally like the unspoiled nature of this event. Fans love sitting on the edge of their seats to hear what the Commissioner says. Trust me, Adam Schefter could easily report who each team is going to pick minutes before the commissioner announces it. That would be terrible TV and he has no interest in proving that he could do this anyway.”

That’s fair and it’s fine (even though they used to be in the business of angering their loyal viewers by letting Chris Berman drop strong hints as the Commissioner approached the microphone). However, omitting the fact that the NFL has told them not to do it makes the explanation more than a bit hollow. At PFT, we decided to stop tipping picks before the NFL issued its decree, and from time to time over the past couple of years I’ve been tempted to tip the picks via a non-PFT Twitter account as a mild act of rebellion.

Maybe we will this year. It’s very easy to get the information, given the lag between when the pick is made, when it’s communicated to the league, when it’s shared with the other 31 teams, and when the Commissioner finally walks to the podium and announces the pick, after the booing subsides.

So, yes, Schefter can get it and Glazer can get it and Rapoport can get it and anyone with even the slimmest connection to only one of 32 teams or the league office can get it. And while it’s honorable not to spoil the experience for viewers who want to hear the pick called fresh, there’s no way ESPN made the decision without considering what the entity that bullied it into dropping the Playmakers series wants.

24 responses to “ESPN once again won’t tip picks in the draft

  1. Both ESPN and NFLN still do it, they just try to disguise it better as “We are analysts we are so smart, even though we didn’t have this as the pick 5 minutes ago, we now suddenly changed our minds… BOOM we got the pick right!?”

    The analysts ego’s are so big and it’s so annoying.

    Last year Chris Berman must have got yelled at after he blatently blew the Chargers-Bosa pick.

  2. I’m glad they started doing this recently, but it seems like they made up for it with the camera panning to the prospect on the phone crying or hugging his family anyway. I don’t like it to be spoiled early but this day and age it’s probably not gonna happen, regardless of whether the broadcasters/insiders announce it on tv.

  3. good. its a discusting and selfish act by these so called reporters to rob us fans of the edge of youre seat drama that is the national football league draft. the commish has the right to keep us in supsense. frankly its a joke that some bum reporter on twitter can just ruin everything for the rest of us. my only beef is that we shouldnt be aloud to know who the guys or teams participating in the draft are until it starts.

  4. Why does PFT have it out so badly for ESPN? Am I missing the back story on this?

    I just feel like 1 of every 10 stories now is basically just taking shots at ESPN, which seems counter productive. I love PFT, but just trying to understand what is going on or why the constant need to stoop to a lower level..!?

  5. If they want the NFL they will do what they are told. They are certainly smart enough to know it is not smart to bite the hand that feeds you. Why is this is a big deal to you?

  6. ESPN couldn’t keep it’s mouth shut if their lives depended on it. Heck, they can’t even tell the truth. Just like a bunch of ol’ hens in a beauty salon.

  7. wrlegrand says:
    Apr 23, 2017 8:59 PM

    Why does PFT have it out so badly for ESPN? Am I missing the back story on this?
    ————————————————————
    Could it be because ESPN is filled with lying sack-o-crap reporters who fall all over themselves acting as the league’s mouthpiece and proliferating whatever stories or spin Goodell’s minions favor?

  8. So 11 of 12 ESPN reporters won’t flat out tell us the pick, but they will predict the pick. As in “if I were the (insert team), I’d be looking (insert position of the player you know is about to be announced) and I’d take (insert name of player about to be announced)…”. And then the rest of the dopes around the table will all agree about how that’s the smart pick and they would do the same thing…

  9. wrlegrand says:
    Apr 23, 2017 8:59 PM
    Why does PFT have it out so badly for ESPN? Am I missing the back story on this?

    I just feel like 1 of every 10 stories now is basically just taking shots at ESPN, which seems counter productive. I love PFT, but just trying to understand what is going on or why the constant need to stoop to a lower level..!?

    _________________

    Please. ESPN deserves all of it…and more.

  10. Walker,

    Yeah I agree with that…but why even give said personalities (like Schefter) the additional press? I just think it comes across as petty now for such an established brand as PFT. I look at it like you are better, so just leaves ESPN to make fools of themselves…

  11. wrlegrand says:

    Apr 23, 2017 8:59 PM
    Why does PFT have it out so badly for ESPN? Am I missing the back story on this?

    I just feel like 1 of every 10 stories now is basically just taking shots at ESPN, which seems counter productive. I love PFT, but just trying to understand what is going on or why the constant need to stoop to a lower level..!?
    =======

    Exactly. Please keep the infighting with ESPN private, we really don’t need to know or hear about it. I love PFT, don’t spoil it by acting petulant.

  12. acerockefellar says:
    Apr 23, 2017 8:44 PM

    Last year Chris Berman must have got yelled at after he blatently blew the Chargers-Bosa pick.

    ———————

    I’ll never forget that. As soon as he started saying “they need juice on defense” it was clear that he was going to tip the pick. And then, “I’d go Bosa!!”

    My 10 year old son turned to me and said “No way he says that unless they told him that’s who they’re picking.”

    So obvious…

  13. The year they kept ruining all the picks was horrible. It threw off the whole flow of coverage. A team was on the clock but we already knew their pick and the next pick.

    It’s a simple formula. Team makes pick. Reaction and highlights of the pick and how they will fit on the new team. Speculation about next pick. Repeat.

    If you just want to know the picks without the show then why bother watching at all? Just look at the results online.

  14. I don’t understand the problem. Let people tweet the picks for those who need to know NOW, and the rest of us who don’t mind waiting an additional 60 seconds can have the fortitude to not be checking our phones and computers.

  15. If I’m watching a game on TV with a 10-second “tape delay”, I don’t want to hear my neighbor cheering because he’s listening on the radio with a 5-second delay. I just want to let the game unfold on my TV.

    Chris Berman pisses me off when he tips picks.

  16. I don’t watch the draft. And the ONLY time I watch ESPN is if the Patriots are playing, and it makes me a little ill to do it even then.

  17. “And while it’s honorable not to spoil the experience for viewers who want to hear the pick called fresh, there’s no way ESPN made the decision without considering what the entity that bullied it into dropping the Playmakers series wants.”

    Thank you for confirming that you have no honor when you release the names of all the yearly award winners (MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, etc…) at least a half hour before they’re announced on the show every year.

  18. You could always listen to it on the radio — where you’ll hear every single possible permutation the draft could take for your team if 14 other teams pick how we think the might unless they don’t and, oh yeah, Team X chose Joe Schoe, Team Y took John D’oh and Team Z is on the clock. And now a word from our local sports bar sponsor . . . .

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.