NFL Draft Media Review: NFL Network

Monday, April 28, 2008

There’s no other way to say this than the NFL Network dominated ESPN on Day One of the NFL Draft this past weekend. They scooped ESPN on just about every pick and trade and when ESPN was going to commercial, the NFL-N had every single pick live. Adam Schefter was the star of this Draft, as the predicted pick after pick while ESPN’s talking heads were not even talking about the right position. Mike Mayock is arguably one of the smartest people in all of Football, and came off so much better than the bickering duo of Kiper and McShay. Even the two people I usually can’t stand, Rich Eisen and Charles Davis, added to an already great broadcast.

The NFL Network isn’t ESPN, which is good, but that’s to say they don’t still have flaws on their coverage of the Draft. Sure they are light years better than ESPN, but every so often they’ll do something to make you cringe. The first thing was the layout of their graphics on the screen. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to ESPN’s layout but having the pick revealed on the top of the screen just threw me off. They had a giant bar at the bottom with information on the team picking, but a tiny one at the top. Just didn’t look right. Also, I personally can’t stand Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk. I think they add nothing to a broadcast and one or both should be sent to the studio or home for good. Steve Mariucci and Brian Billick, while not necessarily bad, seemed kind of useless to me.

Oh, and if I hear that Bravery song they used for their telecast, I’m going to shoot myself.


Rich Eisen: B-
Mike Mayock: B+
Steve Mariucci: C-
Charles Davis: B-
Jamie Dukes: C+
Adam Schefter: A+
Deion Sanders: D
Marshall Faulk: D+
Brian Billick: C+

Overall: B-/B

If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to watch both broadcasts for the site, I would have never changed the channel away from NFL-Network on Saturday or Sunday. They need to trim their roster down and it's hard to tell if their telecast is good, or if it just looks good because ESPN's is so bad.

(ESPN's review coming shortly)


I could not agree more. I thought NFLN covarage of the draft was without question better than ESPN. Specially, on day one. ESPN was all over the place. How can they go to comerical when the comish is ready to announce a pick? THat was stupid.

Anonymous said...
Apr 28, 2008, 10:53:00 AM  

You never gave a grade to Chicago's boy Tommy Waddle. I actually think NFL Network's coverage was outstanding. I only watched day two of their coverage but it was great.

And the argument of Dukes vs Maycock with Davis being the referee in the middle was classic. They were arguing about the Patriots drafting QB Josh Johnson from SDSU and whether it was a good pick or not. The argument went on for about 6-8 minutes and it was just great television. It happened early on Sunday so if you can get a clip of it that would be great.

Brett said...
Apr 28, 2008, 11:19:00 AM  

Agree with the graphics. If you put ESPN's graphics on NFL Network, I wouldn't have had to touch the remote.

Anonymous said...
Apr 28, 2008, 11:36:00 AM  

Wow, Adam Schefter called so many picks on the money, it's almost as if he has connections inside the team offices!

My problem with the layout was that if a pick happened when they were in a commercial, they'd wait until they came back to tell us what the pick was. Even before the live feed cutting out became unbearable, I found myself running to the TV and turning on ESPN, knowing even if they were in commercial, they'd tell me who was picked.

NFL Network covers the second day the way ESPN should. ESPN just uses the second day for stuff like that hokey roundtable (and being thrown to and throwing back to someone like Trey Wingo really shows how unpolished Tony Reali really is) that's completely unrelated to the actual draft. This when their advertising says "you gotta go deep!" and gives us a list of late-round picks that turned out great. Which gives me the expectation they might tell me who might continue that tradition. Um, no.

Morgan Wick said...
Apr 28, 2008, 11:39:00 AM  

I agree that NFLN had the better draft coverage, but I just have a little trouble trusting them. Watching analysis of NFL things on NFLN feels kind of like watching analysis of a Presidential debate from the Obama News Network.

Obviously that comparison is a little bit unfair because the NFL probably doesn't have that kind of slant, but generally speaking I don't like the non-independence of NFLN when it comes to analysis of NFL events.

Zach Smith said...
Apr 28, 2008, 1:46:00 PM  

Their on screen personnel is better then ESPN but their production values look make it look like it belongs on a college TV station. Once they get people behind the camera as good as the ones in front they will be good but far too often were there problems with sound and the picture clarity was a little lacking

mmmm beefy said...
Apr 28, 2008, 4:17:00 PM  

Two comments: (1) You didn't mention Casserly. I thought he was great. Not as a polished broadcaster, but in his evaluation of talent and general discussion of draft strategy. He's looking smarter all the time taking Mario Williams in his final days as Texans GM. (2) Shefter is very good, but the wacko, conspiracy theorist in me can't help but believe that the league was feeding some info to NFL-N.

Mal said...
Apr 28, 2008, 7:25:00 PM  

I like Casserley's approach, he can't help it if his voice is grating. Davis and Mayock are the best and both are former players which in my opinion enhances my opinions of them since they not only have watched game film since high school but they have also covered games as analyst. Heh, Mayock's Top 100 board all went quicker than Rich Gosselin and I consider Gosselin the godfather of NFL writers. Schefter did an excellent job too.

Anonymous said...
Apr 28, 2008, 7:52:00 PM  

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