With the 2011 NFL Draft just days away, 'Draft Week' content and programming on NFL Media's family of platforms is up and running with a variety of features on NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Mobile which provide unmatched comprehensive coverage for NFL fans wherever they are.
The 2011 NFL Draft Presented by Verizon begins Thursday, April 28 in primetime at 8:00 PM ET with Round 1, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 Friday, April 29 at 6:00 PM ET. The three-day event concludes with Rounds 4-7 Saturday, April 30 at Noon ET.
NFL Network's 'Draft Week' Programming Highlighted by More Than 38 Hours of LIVE Coverage, Plus Debut of Draft Expert Mike Mayock's Mock Draft in Primetime
With critical acclaim increasing each year for his knowledge and accuracy in evaluating NFL prospects and where they may land in the draft, Mike Mayock's 2011 Mock Draft makes its primetime debut on the eve of the Draft, Wednesday, April 27 at 8:00 PM ET. The 30-minute special, featuring Mayock and host RICH EISEN from Radio City Music Hall, unveils his 32 first round selections and his thoughts on each prospect and why they are the best fit for each respective team.
Mayock is the centerpiece of NFL Network's on-air broadcast team and will be on-air for all 254 picks.
"Mike has become a true captain of this event. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport and this time of year is truly unmatched and fuels our entire team to provide the best coverage possible of one of the most anticipated events on the NFL calendar," said NFL Network Executive Producer ERIC WEINBERGER. "We're excited that our draft analyst lineup once again runs the gamut of football expertise for our viewers with three Hall of Fame players, experienced front office personnel, former NFL coaches, as well as four of the top college football coaches."
Special Pre-Draft Programming Sets the Stage for Three-Day Event – In addition to Mayock's 2011 Mock Draft, NFL Network's original series No Huddle: Path to Primetime and Game Changers Presented by Ford Mustang provide viewers with more complementary programming leading up to round one.
· Game Changers Presented by Ford Mustang – Former NFL head coach STEVE MARIUCCI gets to know seven draft prospects both on and off the field, through interviews, film study and workouts, providing a closer look at their abilities. Monday, April 25 at 8:00 PM ET, Mariucci gets up and personal with quarterbacks BLAINE GABBERT and CHRISTIAN PONDER, followed by defensive linemen MARCELL DAREUS and ALDON SMITH at 9:00 PM ET. Tuesday, April 26, Mariucci focuses on defensive backs PRINCE AMUKAMARA and AARON WILLIAMS at 8:00 PM ET, followed by linebacker MARK HERZLICH at 9:00 PM ET. Wide receivers A.J. GREEN and ALDON SMITH take center stage Wednesday, April 27 at 9:00 PM ET. Episodes also features the guidance of special guests WARREN SAPP (defensive linemen), CHARLES DAVIS (defensive backs), WILLIE MCGINEST (linebackers) and MICHAEL IRVIN (wide receivers) on the field.
· No Huddle: Path to Primetime – NFL Network's No Huddle roundtable series returns draft week and features NFL Network analysts TORRY HOLT, MARSHALL FAULK, STEVE MARIUCCI, JAMIE DUKES, WARREN SAPP and KURT WARNER who debate and discuss the top draft prospects at each position and the teams where they may land. The first four installments of No Huddle air Monday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 26 at 8:30 & 9:30 PM ET with the final episode debuting Wednesday, April 27 at 9:30 PM ET.
Total Access Pre-Draft Show Presented by Verizon Features Exclusive Interviews & Features Throughout Three-Day Event
Beginning Thursday, April 28 at 1:00 PM ET, the Total Access Pre-Draft Show Presented by Verizon provides full coverage from coast-to-coast with reports and analysis from 40 on-air personalities from Los Angeles, New York and team facilities around the league.
'QB Quandary' – The making of a franchise quarterback is the topic of discussion on Thursday's Total Access Pre-Draft Show, unveiling over four-parts that includes:
· QB Evolution: How the quarterback became the central position in pro football.
· It's not always 1983: A look at the 1983 & 1999 NFL Drafts and how the results of the quarterbacks drafted each of those years are drastically different.
· Worst Case Scenario: How missing on a quarterback selection can cause lasting damage to a franchise over several years, while a successful quarterback pick can pay dividends to a franchise for just as long.
· The Great Cam Newton Debate: A look at the how the 22-year old prospect has become a household name over a year's time through unquestioned talent, success and controversy and how he will be viewed 10 years from now. In addition, this final part of the 'QB Quandary' discussion tackles the debate of nature vs. nurture when it relates to quarterback development.
In addition to the expertise of NFL Network analysts KURT WARNER and STEVE MARIUCCI, the 'QB Quandary' series also seeks out of voice of NFL agent TOM CONDON, award-winning journalist and author of Freakonomics STEVE J. DUBNER, and the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, a student-run organization at Harvard College that focuses on the study of sports strategy and decision-making from a quantitative perspective.
Draft Prospect Profiles Put Spotlight on Trio of Players – On the brink of their lives being changed forever, NFL Network introduces viewers to the stories of three unique draft prospects and their road to draft day.
· DA'QUAN BOWERS: The former Clemson defensive end shares the ups and downs of his breakout 2010 season that while highlighted by winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation's top college defensive player, and the ACC 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, Bowers' 2010 also saw the loss of three mentors – father DENNIS BOWERS, former NFL and Clemson DE GAINES ADAMS and high school counselor ERIC BAMBERG. Bowers discusses how the loss of these three men, coupled with the love of music he shared with his father, fueled his award-winning junior season and continues to inspire him today.
· MARK HERZLICH: After a 2008 season that culminated with ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, the former Boston College linebacker thought his biggest concern was whether to return to BC for his senior season or declare for the NFL Draft. However in the spring of 2009, leg pain and a subsequent MRI revealed a tumor that changed his life in a direction his never imagined. Following a diagnosis of Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Herzlich spent 2009 in a fight to regain his health and the chance at an career in the NFL.
· TITUS YOUNG: From declaring for the NFL Draft to Draft day, hundreds of young men from across the country experience the ups and downs of the NFL Draft process. From workouts and travel to interviews and film sessions, the NFL Draft interview experience is an all-consuming process, not only for the prospect, but also for their closest family and friends. NFL Network profiles Young, a wide receiver out of Boise State with a second-round grade, and the three parts of his support system – Young's parents, college and high school coaches and his agent.
Additional Total Access Pre-Draft Show Presented by Verizon Coverage Highlights:
· LIVE PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEWS – Exclusive live remote interviews with Broncos Executive VP of Football Operations JOHN ELWAY, Cowboys owner JERRY JONES and Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK.
· RED CARPET – CHARLES DAVIS and MICHELLE BEISNER conduct live interviews with NFL Draft prospects, NFL legends and other distinguished guests from the NFL Draft red carpet outside Radio City Music Hall. NFL Draft red carpet also includes appearances from members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
· MILITARY SALUTE – Live look-in with 36th Infantry Division, stationed in Basra, Iraq. The unit based out of Austin, Texas, advises, trains, and assists the Iraqi Security Forces and provincial governments, both directly and through two advise-and-assist brigades under the Division's command. The 36th Infantry Division is only the third National Guard division headquarters to provide command-and-control of U.S. military forces in Iraq and since its reactivation in 2004, has deployed more than 20,000 Soldiers to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. As part of a several brigades hailing from Texas in Southern Iraq, NFL Network is excited to have the 36th Division featured during a pre-draft show interview with Cowboys owner JERRY JONES, as well as during live draft coverage when the Cowboys go on the clock with the ninth overall pick.
Unprecedented Draft Room Access & NFL Network Reporters at Team Facilities – 2011 marks another record in exclusive draft room access at 10 team facilities across the country – including in the draft rooms of three of the first five selections and six of the top ten picks. A staple of the network's live draft coverage since its inception in 2006, the exclusive access continues to expand, and for the first time, video of team personnel making their selections will be available in high-definition. The Carolina Panthers (1), Denver Broncos (2), Buffalo Bills (3), Arizona Cardinals (5), San Francisco 49ers (7), Dallas Cowboys (9), Seattle Seahawks (25), Atlanta Falcons (27), New York Jets (30) and Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers (32) offer unprecedented access, with 'fly on the wall' shots.
Additionally, Thursday's Total Access Pre-Draft Show will also feature draft rooms tours in Denver and San Francisco, courtesy of Broncos General Manager BRIAN XANDERS and 49ers General Manager TRENT BAALKE.
NFL.com's 2011 Draft Coverage Provides Ultimate Social Experience to Fans
With the return of Fan Draft Rooms and the ability to share your mood and chat with other fans on a team's draft picks, NFL.com provides users with the most social draft experience online. In addition, NFL.com video exclusives into the journey of 2011 draft prospects gives viewers an inside look into the draft experience for prospects and their families.
Fans Joining in the NFL Draft Conversation – Through Tweet The Draft presented by Verizon, a unique interactive experience only on NFL.com, fans may tweet predictions about which prospect will be selected by which team and how a prospect's career might turn out. Will the Carolina Panthers take CAM NEWTON? Will BLAINE GABBERT be a future Hall of Famer? Will PRINCE AMUKAMARA be Rookie of the Year? Fans may make their predictions and tweet it out through a custom interface. Tweet The Draft also provides fans with a single location to experience all the NFL Draft tweets, including the prospects and teams generating the most buzz and Draft-related trending topics. It will also include Tweets from a wide variety of people at the NFL Draft including NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL (@NFLCommish), host RICH EISEN (@richeisen), insiders JASON LA CANFORA (@jasonlacanfora) and MICHAEL LOMBARDI (@michaelombardi) and analysts BRIAN BILLICK (@coachbillick), CHARLES DAVIS (@cfd22), MARSHALL FAULK (@marshallfaulk) and DEION SANDERS (@deionsanders) as well as media personalities, NFL players and prospects and celebrities.
NFL fans on Facebook can voice their opinion on every pick of Round One through a series of polls, in Strong Pick? Wrong Pick? Presented by Castrol. The results will be displayed on NFL Network and presented alongside analysis of the pick. New polls will be posted on Facebook.com/NFL throughout the Draft.
Chat and Share Your Mood on the Draft in Fan War Rooms – Following a 2010 campaign that generated more than 500,000 comments, the enhanced Fan War Rooms have returned to provide fans with a more robust and dynamic Draft discussion. Fans may share their "mood" towards a team's strategy pre-Draft, during the Draft and post-Draft and picks will appear in real time in the War Rooms giving fans the opportunity to immediately react by liking that pick, utilizing Facebook's "Like" button. Within each War Room, fans can discuss their team's Draft needs, comment on how the team is drafting and connect with other fans from across the world. In addition, fans can monitor the Draft day activity, buzz and mood across all 32 War Rooms with an interactive map. For the first time, the Fan War Rooms have a mobile companion through NFL Mobile, enabling fans to be a part of the Fan community no matter where they are.
NFL.com/LIVE Returns for NFL Draft Coverage Online – In between sharing their mood and following NFL Draft tweets, users can also view NFL Network's NFL Draft coverage at NFL.com/LIVE. Beginning with the first pick through round three, NFL.com/LIVE features NFL Network's coverage from Radio City Music Hall with Scott Hanson, Jamie Dukes and Tom Waddle providing additional exclusive analysis and commentary.
Inside Look Into 'The First 24' of an NFL Draftee – NFL.com's 'The First 24' webisode series offers an exclusive look into the hours before, during and after the draft moments of LSU CB Patrick Peterson and Alabama DT Marcell Dareus. From their arrival in New York City to the hugs and tears of friends and family members leading to an unforgettable photo op with Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL.com cameras are there for every moment, including the sudden rush of activity following the selection announcement of both young men.
4th Annual Mock Draft Featuring NFL Media Personalities on NFL.com – After all the interviews, analysis and workouts, it's finally time for BRIAN BILLICK, BUCKY BROOKS, CHARLES DAVIS, RICH EISEN, MARSHALL FAULK, MICHAEL IRVIN, MICHAEL LOMBARDI and STEVE MARIUCCI to put their final mock drafts on the board. Moderated by 'Commissioner' MIKE MAYOCK, the group will make their first round picks for the NFL.com cameras to be unveiled online Wednesday, April 27.
NFL Mobile Has Draft Covered for the Fan on the Go
Wherever you are, the NFL Draft experience is a touch away with a portfolio of innovative mobile products from NFL Media. From live streaming of NFL Network on NFL Mobile only from Verizon, to an interactive draft experience on tablets with the NFL 2011 app, NFL Media brings the draft experience full circle.
"We are thrilled to offer fans more ways than ever to follow the NFL Draft while on to go," said HANS SCHROEDER, NFL Senior Vice President of Media Strategy and Development. "Led by our flagship mobile app, NFL Mobile only from Verizon, we've created a portfolio of mobile products optimized for a variety of devices, which can be personalized based upon the individual fans' interests and offer fans unprecedented access to the Draft event in 2011. We look forward to making these great mobile services available to our fans in time for this year's draft event."
NFL Mobile only from Verizon will have extensive coverage leading up to and during the 2011 NFL Draft, including the live stream of NFL Network and its 2011 NFL Draft coverage. NFL Mobile delivers a live draft tracker and draft pick analysis from NFL experts. Prospect pages that include integrated video highlights will give fans a look at some of the players coming into the league. Verizon and the NFL have added new features to NFL Mobile in time for the 2011 NFL Draft: draft alerts give fans a quick link to their favorite team's page within the app, integration of NFL.com's Fan War Rooms, which offer users the ability to comment on their team's draft activity and interact with other fans using their smartphones. Customers with Android™ phones, including Motorola devices, can download it directly from the Verizon Channel in Android Market™. Customers can also text "NFL" to 8915 for a link to the application. For the first time and prior to the Draft event, NFL Mobile will be available on the App Store iPhone devices.
The NFL is launching NFL 2011, a smartphone and tablet-optimized app that will be available on the iPad for the first time in support of the Draft. NFL 2011 on iPad delivers fans a live video stream of NFL.com/LIVE Draft coverage that includes live look-ins to Radio City Music Hall, as well as exclusive studio analysis and a robust video on demand library. Users also will receive alerts and notifications of picks, a comprehensive Draft tracker and all the in-depth information on the prospects and draft news NFL fans crave. To download NFL 2011, fans can visit the Android Market or iTunes App Store.