ESPN, NFL Network agree to not tip off picks on Twitter during 2013 draft

Brian McIntyre
April 24, 2013

One of the more enjoyable tasks Roger Goodell has in his role of NFL Commissioner is announcing each team's picks in the first round of the entry draft. Thanks to Twitter, in recent seasons, Goodell's announcements have been little more than confirmations of what reporters for ESPN and the NFL Network have already announced on the social media platform, but that will not be the case in 2013.

According to, both ESPN and the NFL Network have agreed to not reveal a team's draft choices before they are announced by Goodell.

"Our fans have told us they would rather hear from the commissioner and I think it is a better TV show when we speculate and let the commissioner do it," ESPN NFL senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said.

The reason that those reporters have been able to break the news is that on-air producers for each network are informed of the picks 30-to-60 seconds before Goodell makes the announcements. This advanced warning is done to give the production team time to load graphics and highlight videos for their broadcast. In recent seasons, word of the picks has filtered out to on-air reporters, who have essentially stolen the commissioner's thunder and ruined the surprise for many fans who wanted to hear it from Goodell first.

Schefter confirmed, on Twitter, that he would not be tweeting during the draft.

"Starting 8p Thurs till after 1st rd, no tweets from me. Every worthwhile development will be broadcast on ESPN. We hear u. Enjoy the draft," Schefter wrote.

Of course, reporters were not the only ones who were announcing picks ahead of Goodell's time at the podium. The official Twitter accounts for NFL teams have tweeted the selections to their followers ahead of time, which could still happen this season, though the league could probably reel that in.

What the NFL would have a hard time containing is an owner announcing the picks. One of the biggest spoilers during the 2012 NFL draft was Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen who started jumping ahead of Goodell by announcing first-round picks as the draft approached Seattle's selection (No. 15 overall). Good luck asking Mr. Allen, the league's wealthiest owner, to stop tweeting, but the league won't have to as the Seahawks are without a first-round pick this year.