UPDATE: Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft is a wrap. Day 2 gets underway at 7 p.m. with the Cincinnati Bengals making the first pick of the second round. The second and third rounds will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and NFL Network.
The 2020 NFL Draft has arrived. Even without a pandemic, NFL fans would be excited for the arrival of the draft. The Covid-19 pandemic has likely taken the interest to another level now that there are virtually no other sports active at the moment. There’s a decent chance this year’s draft draws record television and streaming ratings.
The draft gets underway Thursday evening, April 23rd at 8 p.m. ET. It is scheduled to run until 11:30 p.m., but given the potential for technical difficulties, it probably makes sense to set aside a little more time Thursday night. The draft will broadcast on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Radio.
This year we have an entirely virtual draft with all team, league, and broadcast participants working from home or in some other isolated location. The streaming nature has resulted in a change to the broadcast plans. Normally, ESPN and NFL Network have competing broadcasts for the draft. This year, ESPN will handle the football side of the draft, while NFL Network will be hosting a Draft-A-Thon to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts.
Trey Wingo will host all three days of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage. He will be based in Bristol, and will be joined remotely by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Louis Riddick, and Booger McFarland. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, Daniel Jeremiah, Michael Irvin, and Kurt Warner will contribute as well. ABC will hold a primetime presentation of the draft on Thursday and Friday, hosted by Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and Maria Taylor. The ABC broadcast will include Todd McShay, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, and Tom Rinaldi.
Here is a full rundown of the broadcast schedule for the next three days. The entire draft can be streamed online at NFL.com/Live. All times are Eastern.
Round 1: Thursday, April 23
8:00 p.m. — ESPN, NFL Network, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
The first round kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, and televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and NFL Network. Teams will have 10 minutes on the clock for each pick in the first round.
Rounds 2, 3 - Friday, April 24
7:00 p.m. — ESPN, NFL Network, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Everything gets going an hour earlier on Friday so the league can fit two rounds of the draft into primetime. The second round will have 7 minutes per pick, and the third round 5 minutes. The one exception to this is the three compensatory picks after the third round, which get 4 minutes each.
Rounds 4-7 - Saturday, April 25
12:00 p.m. — ESPN, NFL Network, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
The draft wraps up on Saturday with the final four rounds. Picks in rounds four through six are five minutes each, while the seventh round and all compensatory picks are four minutes apiece.