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Why Is ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. Not Attending the 2022 NFL Draft in Person?

When the 2022 NFL Draft commences in Las Vegas on Thursday night, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. will be reporting on the event live from the comfort of his Maryland home.

NFL fans frantically Googling the reason behind the longtime NFL draft analyst’s change of scenery needn’t look any further than Kiper’s Twitter account for the answer. Earlier this month, the 61-year-old announced he would not be attending this year’s draft because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I completely support everyone determining what’s best for their individual circumstances and recognize the value of vaccines,” Kiper tweeted April 18. “Simply put, my Covid vaccination decision is very specific to my own personal medical history.”

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Kiper, a fixture on ESPN’s NFL draft coverage since 1984, won’t be the only familiar face missing from the event. Color commentator Kirk Herbstreit revealed Monday he will not be able to work the event due to a recently discovered blood clot.  

The 2022 NFL draft is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

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