2020 NFL Draft - TV Instant Replay Review

2020 NFL Draft - TV Instant Replay Review

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A historical night for the National Football League, ESPN networks and NFL Network with the first virtual TV show from over 170 locations, anchored flawlessly by ESPN’s Trey Wingo.

Worries on the technical setup with limited staff and web cameras substituting for broadcast cameras did not deter a television show that raced through the draft like never before. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had fun from his basement, leading Minnesota Vikings fans in a “skol” chant, FaceTiming the players during picks and being an effective co-host.

The on-stage hugs weren’t missed. Connections felt as strong through the video screens, thanks to a snappy format that kept moving from an eight-screen video board of analysts; the split screens of owners, general managers and head coaches; and those fans behind Roger on an array of screens.

In the finest tradition of NFL Films story-telling that would make its founders – Hall of Famer Ed Sabol and 2020 enshrinee Steve Sabol, his son – proud, we learned of players who were homeless; who saved a woman’s life with CPR; who lost a premature 3-month-old daughter; a father who was killed by a hit-and run driver when he pulled over to help another driver; and a 12-year-old cancer patient from St Jude’s throwing to Commissioner Goodell to announce the Cleveland Browns’ pick.

Seeing so many kids and family members surrounding general managers and head coaches made these men, who normally are stone-faced in front of microphones or with jaws jutting out on the sideline, appear like all of us: at home, with nowhere else to go, letting the kids surround their work stations.

My son, a Jets fan, texted this to me: “Love how they showed Pete Carroll working in his house. Reminds me you working in the kitchen.”

It felt so “normal” that the networks, which have delivered the greatest game in America as its greatest television shows for years, did it again.  Without huge crowds or multiple cameras in huge studios, they pulled it off – and then some. It was truly “the new norm” technically, but it felt like the NFL Draft. Easy for us to say; one can only imagine the enormity of this effort by hundreds to pull it off.

Below is our play by play of an evening never to be forgotten:

Tracking by bullet points our “Instant Replay Review” of the 2020 NFL Draft TV Special


  • Jennifer Hudson sings “Lean On Me” with a chorus of voices
  • Commissioner Goodell in a Bud Light commercial getting booed
  • Tease, voiced over by Peyton Manning, “… Hope … we are fighting as one … hope deep and passionate … hope that the next named called will be yours … we are hoping for more this year”
  • Hope to gather that will mean life is back to normal
  • Celebrate with these young men
  • Wingo: “… one of the great communal experiences of all time…”
  • Todd McShay is fighting the corona virus
  • 60 remote setups … 60 in one big screen … all 32 teams represented
  • A very different tone … humble and somber … we hope the draft will provide a break from everyday challenges
  • A moment of silence for those who have been lost
  • Harry Connick Jr. sings the national anthem from a home studio. The video includes multiple images, and singers accompany him
  • Connick, on camera, leads the clapping for first responders and medical personnel leading into a TV break
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci appears on camera and commends those staying within health guidelines

No. 1, Cincinnati Bengals, QB, Joe Burrow, LSU

  • Great feature on the Bengals Bags over their heads … 4th overall No. 1 pick in the last 30 seasons … Bio of Burrow … 8 analysts weigh in … Burrow’s Heisman speech … Joe Burrow’s effect in Athens, Ohio … Burrow family-wide shot with mom and dad ... nice cutaway to LSU Coach Ed Ogeron’s house and back to Burrow’s house … Suzy Kolber interviews Burrow

No. 2, Washington Redskins ,Chase Young,  DE, Ohio State … HOF posts video of Cris Carter talking about Chase Young

No. 3, Detroit Lions, Ohio State, CB, Jeff Okudah

No. 4, N.Y. Giants, Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

No. 5, Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

No. 6, L.A. Chargers, Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

No. 7, Carolina Panthers, DT, Derrick Brown, Auburn

No. 8, Arizona Cardinals, Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson … Great video of Simmons sprinting in high school

  • This show is flying. Great energy. Great movement. Hardly miss the fans
  • Auburn Gus Malzahn’s living room is off the charts

No. 9, Jacksonville,  C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

  • Have not mentioned how much money they have raised
  • Wonder if NFL and networks will look hard at the cost of this show vs. staging an event in a host city

No. 10, Cleveland Browns, Browns pick 12-year-old Fletcher Rollinson from St. Jude Hospital to throw to Roger Goodell and name Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama as the pick

No. 11, N.Y. Jets, Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders, Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama

No. 13, San Francisco trades pick to Buccaneers

  • Great seeing the young kids with Bucs GM Jason Licht … Military shoutout from Qatar with Buccaneers flags and Air Force stationed out of Tampa. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa is pick. … Video of him putting out the red carpet and he is jumping out of his pool, sticking the landing.

No. 14, San Francisco 49ers

  • Seeing the kids with GM John Lynch (three daughters) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (two daughters, one son), Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina spent some of his time homeless in Washington, D.C. … Kinlaw’s father falling on the floor becomes family star of the night

No. 15, Denver Broncos, Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama … Lost his daughter Journee Aaliyah

No. 16, Atlanta Falcons make pick with Dan Quinn, Arthur Blank and Thomas Dimitroff (first time showing coach, owner and GM together) take A.J Terrell, CB, Clemson

  • Roger Goodell is FaceTiming with all the quarterbacks

No. 17, Dallas Cowboys on clock. HOF posts video of Cliff Harris announcing Charlie Waters as his enshrinement presenter . Cee Dee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma selected.

No. 18, Miami Dolphins, Austin Jackson, OT, USC. ... Donated bone marrow to his sister last summer; sister is doing well. … Grandfather played on USC championship teams and then with Packers.

No. 19, Las Vegas Raiders on clock. Goddell announces 2022 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas 2022. Pick: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

No. 20, Jacksonville Jaguars, K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU

No. 21, Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU … His father, Monte Reagor, was DT with Colts

No. 22, Minnesota Vikings on clock as Goddell chants “skol” with fans. Pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

No. 23, New England trades out of first round for second- and third round-picks from Chargers, who then choose Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma. He saved a woman’s life with CPR last year

No. 24, New Orleans, Caesar Ruiz, C, Michigan. He lost his father, Cesar Edward Ruiz, in December 2007 accident after he pulled over to help a driver

No. 25, San Francisco trades three picks in later rounds to move up to Minnesota’s spot and takes Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

No. 26, Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

No. 27, Seattle Seahawks, food workers at CenturyLink Field shown cooking meals for those in need. Pick: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

No. 28, Baltimore Ravens, Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

No. 29, Tennesee Titans…Isaiah Wilson OT, Georgia

No. 30, Miami Dolphins, Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn … Both of his parents were Olympians

No. 31, Minnesota Vikings, Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

No. 32, Kansas City Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

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