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As The NFL Draft Rocks Cleveland This Week, ESPN, ABC Provide Fans All-Access Passes

Mike Greenberg talks about his debut as ESPN's NFL Draft coverage host as our production, platforms provide blanket coverage Thursday-Saturday

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the video above, Get Up! and ESPN Radio’s “Greeny” host Mike Greenberg discusses his duties on on ESPN’s prime-time telecasts in Cleveland on April 29 and 30. Read this post for more details about The Walt Disney Company’s presentation of the 2021 NFL Draft, which will include productions on many platforms including ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, and ESPN+.

Welcome to NFL Draft week, an ESPN tradition that dates back to 1980 and, in recent years, has become a staple across The Walt Disney Company.

The 2021 NFL Draft, the three-day (Thursday-Saturday) pinnacle NFL offseason event, will be televised on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN Deportes and heard on ESPN Radio. SportsNation’s NFL Draft Digital Show will also stream on the ESPN App, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and – for the first time for an ESPN studio production – TikTok on Thursday and Friday.

The result? The 2021 NFL Draft will be the most extensive presentation by The Walt Disney Company to date.

Multiple departments have been dedicating their time to this year’s endeavor for months, a herculean effort difficult to briefly summarize. Here are some numbers for context:

  • 1,500 creative elements, showcasing statistics, storylines, historical elements, and much more
  • 450 player highlight packages for the more than 300 potential players who will be drafted over seven rounds
  • 35 player vignettes for the highest-profile prospects
  • More than 40 additional cameras at the homes/viewing parties of Draft prospects
  • Cameras offering looks into every team’s Draft room

“Working on the NFL Draft is a labor of love for our team,” said ESPN NFL Draft Producer Bryan Ryder. “This group is passionate about football and passionate about building something from the ground up. They are talented, dedicated, and detail-oriented. I have a deep appreciation for every person who contributes to this project.”

This year’s Draft also marks the return of an on-location Draft, as our ESPN and ABC productions, as well as our friends at the NFL Network, will all have a presence in Cleveland.

The NFL’s Draft Theater, the main hub for all Draft activity, will be in iconic Cleveland locations between FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Great Lakes Science Center. The theater will feature many of the staples of previous NFL Drafts, including Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing selections and multiple Draft prospects set to take the stage for their big moment. ESPN and ABC will have more than 50 cameras and more than 50 microphones following the live action in Cleveland.

Fans will also return for in-person attendance, as the Draft Theater will act as the viewing zone for the main stage and will seat invited guests, 1600-plus fans selected for the exclusive “Inner Circle” Draft experience.

Fans selected to sit in this area must be fully vaccinated. More on the fan attendance and requirements by the NFL can be found here.

“Fans bring an energy to the telecast that we have discovered is hard to replicate, which elevates the entire experience for all,” said Coordinating Producer Drew Gallagher, who is overseeing the ABC telecast. “Our commentators, and entire production unit, are excited to have fans take part in the telecast, as it will provide a dynamic for us on location and the viewers at home.”

With our crews onsite, The Walt Disney Company health and safety protocols will continue to be followed. Here are a few examples of how things will be handled in Cleveland:

  • Employees will continue to use the health screening checklist before arriving onsite
  • Company-issued face coverings will be worn onsite at all times
  • Physical distancing will be maintained within our production facilities and on set
  • Continuous cleaning and disinfecting of shared spaces and equipment

Allie Stoneberg and Shelby Lacy produced the Mike Greenberg video.


ESPN’S 2021 NFL Draft coverage is live all three days starting Thursday, April 29 (8 p.m. ET / 5 PT) on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and the ESPN App.

In addition, follow the coverage on:

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