The NFL Draft has taken on a life of its own — an extension of the NFL that, in its own unique way, has become “an event” nearly on par with the sport’s biggest game. It’s an opportunity for 32 teams to partially transform their rosters essentially overnight. With the draft almost here, let’s break down the featured TV announcers for the major networks covering the event.
2023 NFL Draft Announcers ESPN/ABC
If the NFL had been this big in the mid-1960s and had been televised on NBC, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley might have tag-teamed on all 20 rounds, with Huntley providing straight commentary and Brinkley bringing the pizzazz.
“Well, Chet, I spoke with Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes on the telephone the other day. His phone was busy for hours, but I finally got through. And he told me this Paul Warfield kid can really fly.”
“Is that right, David? The NFL is about to witness human flight?”
“No, Chet, it’s a figure of speech. [Turning to Camera 2] And since we’re talking about ‘speech,’ here’s a word from our sponsor. Do you want to put your speech … on paper? Look no further than the sleek Smith Corona Corsair typewriter. Now in teal.”
These days, the announcing business looks nothing like it looked two generations ago. And that’s a boon for viewers seeking a flood of knowledge about every player and every team.
On ESPN, two-time host Mike Greenberg will be back for a third straight year, providing play-by-play insights for the first two days of the draft. ESPN NFL senior draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. will join him, as well as analysts Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland, Chris Mortensen, and Adam Schefter. Additionally, Suzy Kolber will be on point with drafted players, getting their immediate reactions after they’re selected.
Over on ABC, SportsCenter anchor Rece Davis will be the primary host, partnering with senior analyst Todd McShay and analysts Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit on the first two days. NFL Live and SEC Nation host Laura Rutledge and college football expert Pete Thamel will provide additional commentary.
ABC will feature a second set, with Sunday NFL Countdown host Sam Ponder joining Robert Griffin III for more insights and analysis. Of course, many fans know RGIII as the 2012 first-round draft pick who, as a rookie, helped lead Washington to its first NFC East title in 13 years.
His first game in the postseason that year was against the Seahawks, led by fellow rookie Russell Wilson. It’s hard to believe those two guys faced off in their first playoff appearances, and that Washington actually led 14-0, with Seattle finally taking the lead midway through the fourth quarter. From that point forward, those two franchises — and those two QBs — had very different trajectories.
NFL Network Draft Announcers
Meanwhile, the NFL Network will showcase its own stars, headlined by host Rich Eisen, who’s approaching his 30th year as a sports broadcaster.
Expert analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis will join Stanford head coach David Shaw, Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, and FOX Sports college football expert Joel Klatt. Like ESPN’s Suzy Kolber, Melissa Stark will interview the draftees after they’ve been picked.
NFL Draft TV Schedule
Here are the start times for TV coverage of the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Thursday, April 27 (Round 1): 8 p.m. ET
- Friday, April 28 (Rounds 2-3): 7 p.m. ET
- Saturday, April 29 (Rounds 4-7): 12 p.m. ET
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.