2015 NFL Commentator Mock Draft: Who is key to this week's coverage?
You love mock drafts. I love mock drafts. And broadcasters love mock drafts. So, in the spirit of the actual NFL draft on Thursday night—the first round commences on ESPN and the NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET—here is our first annual SI.com mock draft of the commentators who will appear for both networks as part of this year’s coverage. We’ve limited the picks to only the broadcasters assigned to the actual draft, not to those who have pre- or post-draft coverage responsibilities.
The only thing we’re sure of with this draft? We will soon hear from the people (or their PR reps) on this list who are not happy with their ranking.
No. 1: Mike Mayock, NFL Network analyst
For this event, in Mayock we trust.
No. 2: Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider
Has established himself as the NFL’s top day-to-day information broker.
No. 3: Bill Polian, ESPN analyst
Last year’s MVP for ESPN.
No. 4: Rich Eisen, NFL Network host
Works all three days and navigates the process (and the egos on his set) like Varys in Game of Thrones.
No. 5: Trey Wingo, ESPN NFL host
Most organizations would start Aaron Rodgers over Lynn Dickey.
No. 6: Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN draft analyst
I still want him—and need him—on that draft wall.
No. 7: Todd McShay, ESPN draft analyst
Has developed into an authoritative voice. Will be a higher pick in 2019.
No. 8: Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network analyst
Like McShay, he doesn’t cheat viewers.
No. 9: David Shaw, NFL Network analyst
Has been a great addition for NFL Network. Will have his pick of TV jobs should he ever leave Stanford for broadcasting.
No. 10: Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter
Master-class interviewer and journalist.
No. 11: Chris Mortensen, ESPN NFL insider
Still bringing it.
No. 12: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network insider
You know he wants to do to Schefter what King Joffrey did to Eddard Stark.
No. 13: Charles Davis, NFL Network insider
Always terrific on day three.
No. 14: Shelley Smith, ESPN reporter
Interviewing Marcus Mariota in Hawaii this year, and inspirational in her public battle with breast cancer.
No. 15: Jim Trotter, ESPN reporter
Having worked with him, he has the goods.
No. 16: Judy Battista, NFL Network reporter
Quality reporter with a New York Times pedigree.
No. 17: Ed Werder, ESPN reporter
Terrific mustache, terrific reporter.
No. 18: Suzy Kolber, ESPN interviewer
Will never embarrass you on the field. Good value at No. 18 given she can also host.
No. 19: Louis Riddick, ESPN NFL draft analyst
Riddick is filling in for Ray Lewis, who opted to remain in Maryland this week to “help out the city (Baltimore) I love.” The move should be beneficial for all parties, as Riddick has been terrific as an insider.
No. 20: Steve Wyche, NFL Network reporter
Versatile talent who will interview Jameis Winston in Alabama.
No. 21: Josina Anderson, ESPN reporter
Solid news-breaker who gets the Jets this year.
No. 22: Trent Dilfer, ESPN analyst
Passionate, prepared and occasionally overly theatrical, but quality.
No. 23: Mike Silver, NFL Network reporter
Success of Cal alums Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch helped his draft stock.
No. 24: Alex Flanagan, NFL Network reporter
Moved up the board after her thoughtful piece on Shelley Smith.
No. 25: Steve Cyphers, NFL Network reporter
Always does strong work.
No. 26: Sal Paolantonio, ESPN reporter
Quality reporter who possesses more on-air ham than a Long Island diner.
No. 27: Tom Rinaldi, ESPN reporter
Even money to make viewers cry with his Winston interview. Would rank higher in cities with pianos.
No. 28: Melissa Stark, NFL Network interviewer
Deserves a medal of honor for dealing with Sterling Sharpe daily.
No. 29: Kimberly Jones, NFL Network reporter
Multi-sport threat with baseball reporting experience.
No. 30: Bob Holtzman, ESPN reporter
Solid worker who will likely outperform this draft position.
No. 31: Aditi Kinkhabwala, NFL Network reporter
Former Sports Illustrated freelancer has the longest last name in draft.
No. 32: Kurt Warner, NFL Network analyst
Steadily getting better as an analyst. Probably should be higher.
No. 33: Jeff Darlington, NFL Network reporter
Appeared in the movie Draft Day in the event your team needs actors.
No. 34: Marshall Faulk, NFL Network analyst
Like him a lot during the season, but not as much on draft day.
No. 35: LaDainian Tomlinson, NFL Network analyst
Has improved each year on television.
No. 36: Ari Wolfe, NFL Network reporter
Versatile and has worked on multiple sports. Will add depth to your roster.
No. 37: Tiffany Blackmon, NFL Network reporter
Sleeper pick here for the future. Will interview Mariota.
No. 38: Desmond Purnell, NFL Network reporter
Assigned to the Cowboys, so that means airtime and face time with Jerry Jones.
No. 39: Patrick Claybon, NFL Network reporter
You can’t go wrong taking someone with Alabama roots in an NFL draft. Claybon’s hometown is Birmingham.
No. 40: Jenn Brown, NFL Network reporter
Assigned to the Vikings, so could have a busy weekend.
No. 41: Jenny Dell, NFL Network reporter
Heavy social media presence for the team that drafts her.
No. 42: Albert Breer, NFL Network reporter
Ohio State grad drops in this mock draft due to Michigan cracks.
No. 43: Jeremy Fowler, NFL Network reporter
Will probably move up for teams who think he’s Chris Fowler.
No. 44: Chris Rose, NFL Network host
Pals with Derek (Jeets) Jeter, in the event he’s needed for the broadcast.
No. 45: Charlie Strong, NFL Network analyst
Liked what I saw when Strong was on ESPN's 2014 college football megacast.
No. 46: Brian Billick, NFL Network analyst
Former FOX guy was once destined for broadcast stardom. Strange turn of events.
No. 47: Omar Ruiz, NFL Network reporter
Scouting department hasn't seen enough tape; gets 49ers for the broadcast.
No. 48: Steve Mariucci, NFL Network analyst
His bosses love him, but I look elsewhere for this draft.
No. 150: Britt McHenry, ESPN reporter
Was ranked higher in early mocks, but suburban D.C. combine tape hurt.
No. 180: Jon Gruden, ESPN NFL draft analyst
Urged every team short of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to draft Johnny Manziel.
No. 200: Deion Sanders, NFL Network reporter
Over-under on Deion Sanders’ references about Deion Sanders: 20.
No. 225: Pat Fitzgerald, NFL Network analyst
Well-spoken and smart, but I’ve dropped him just to annoy Northwestern alums.
No. 235: Michael Irvin, NFL Network analyst
Dear lord, no.
No. 256: Chris Berman, ESPN host
Has hosted the draft for 28 years, one year fewer than the rule of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.