ESPN is shaking things up at the NFL Draft this year, and that’s great news for college football fans.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, ESPN will produce a special episode of College GameDay for the 2018 NFL Draft. The show will appear on ESPN 2 and the crew will analyze the draft as it happens from a college perspective, per Ourand.
College GameDay’s official Twitter account also confirmed the news:
We interrupt the NCAA tournament for a very important football announcement …
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) March 21, 2018
ESPN had already announced that Kirk Herbstreit will be a part of this year’s draft coverage, replacing Jon Gruden.
“After we talked about my role, I was pumped up,” Herbstreit told the Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo. “I’m going to stay in my lane and let Mel (Kiper) and Louis (Riddick) and Trey (Wingo) kind of say, ‘Hey, the Broncos really need to do this.’ I’ll kind of be more of breaking down some of the prospects from a college football perspective.”
The production will begin as a pre-draft show on April 26 and April 27 on ESPN before moving to ESPN 2 when the draft begins, per Ourand.
Rece Davis, who will host the show alongside Lee Corso, David Pollack and Desmond Howard, also commented on the announcement:
Fired up about this. College twist on the draft. Long overdue. 1st rd on ESPN2. Space for a great crowd around the set. you’ll see the draft picks w/ our insight from their college careers. How about Corso with a head of the 1st overall pick?🤔 going to be great! https://t.co/t45GjsbpZi
— Rece Davis (@ESPN_ReceDavis) March 21, 2018
The show should be a fresh take on the top prospects in the country. Rather than NFL analysts predicting boom or bust for certain athletes, Herbstreit and the other College GameDay analysts will have the perspective of covering for them the last three or four seasons.
ESPN’s decision to include the college analysts is part of an “all-in” move designed to combat the NFL’s agreement with FOX Sports to televise the 2018 draft.
This move is also in line with how ESPN has handled the NBA Draft. In recent years, college analysts such as Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Jay Williams have all appeared during draft coverage.
The NFL Draft will be held in Arlington, Texas, from April 26-28.