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NFL Draft 2020: First Round Start Time, TV Schedule, Online Streaming, and More

Here is your one-stop shop to find when and where to watch night one of the 2020 NFL Draft.

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NFL Combine - Day 1 Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft begins tonight from Roger Goodell’s basement. The New Orleans Saints are currently slated to pick 24th in the first round, but of course that could change depending on any trades.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Commissioner will preside over the draft as follows:

(Goodell will) appear via an in-home camera in the basement of his home in Westchester County, N.Y. Interesting note from a Saturday conversation with the NFL’s special-events czar, Peter O’Reilly: During each pick, a virtual montage of 15 fans of the team on the clock will be the backdrop behind Goodell, with those fans reacting (booing?) to the commissioner and to whoever their team picks.

This, of course, stands as a drastic departure from the league’s original plans for this year’s draft, which was to be held in the newest NFL city of Las Vegas, Nevada. The stage was to be set within the famous Bellagio Resort & Casino Fountain, where small boats were to ferry the freshly-drafted picks from the neighboring Caesar’s Palace to the stage within the Bellagio fountain itself. Now, instead of this, the grandest sort of pomp and circumstance, the draft gets downgraded to the Commissioner’s basement, like the NFL’s version of Wayne’s World.

Aside from Goodell’s basement show, the draft coverage itself will take place from ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut studios, where they will be following local and state policies on social distancing. Draft hosts will be in studio and analysts will provide commentary remotely from home.

King has also stated that this year’s draft will work as follows:

Making picks will happen like this: Each team’s designated drafter will be connected to the league’s official Microsoft Teams private and encrypted draft channel, and will make the pick through that channel. There are two fail-safes: A GM can call Fiore or a member of his team directly by landline or cell with the pick. Also, there will be a conference call for the length of the draft with club officials muted; the club official designated to make the pick can unmute his/her line and announce the pick. If the pick is made through Microsoft Teams, Fiore or his representative will announce on the conference call that a pick has been made and the next team is on the clock.

ESPN and NFL Network will air the draft in a joint simulcast provided exclusively by ESPN production but with the shared use of on-air talent provided by both networks. This will be a unique singular shared broadcast with the exception of ABC which will use their own talent for Rounds 1-3 before using ESPN’s production and talent for Rounds 4-7. Below will list the on-air talent for the respective ESPN/NFL Network and ABC coverage for this year’s unique draft. Of note, ESPN’s Dianna Russini is assigned to remotely cover the Saints.


2020 NFL Draft

First Round - Thursday, April 23rd

Start Time - 5:00pm PST / 7:00pm CST / 8:00pm EST


Access all ESPN content and more with ESPN+ Click here or here to begin streaming now!


ESPN and NFL Network

In-Studio Host - Trey Wingo

Remote Analysts - Mel Kiper Jr., Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland, Rich Eisen, Daniel Jeremiah, Michael Irvin, and Kurt Warner

Remote Updates - Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter

Remote Interviews - Suzy Kolber

Online Streaming and Mobile - or and ESPN App or NFL App



In-Studio Host - Rece Davis

In-Studio Analysts - Jesse Palmer, Maria Taylor, and Tom Rinaldi

Remote Analysts - Todd McShay, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and David Pollack

Online Streaming and Mobile - and ABC App


ESPN Radio

Host - Dari Nowkhah

Analysts - Mike Tannenbaum, Ian Fitzsimmons, and Bart Scott


Enjoy the Draft, Who Dat Nation! Here’s to the Saints selecting a stellar draft class!