ESPN ignored NFL's edict against tipping picks

When it comes to the NFL draft, the league wants the first-round picks to be kept secret until the Commissioner announces them from the podium.

On multiple occasions in recent years, the NFL has directed broadcast partners to instruct their reporters and on-air personalities to not beat the Commissioner to the punch. I've historically complied, but only because the audience wants to get the picks from the TV broadcast.

On Thursday night, ESPN did not play ball with the no-tipping-picks thing. Pat McAfee's digital broadcast was giving away picks early, to the point where McAfee mentioned that there were "ruffled feathers" over the McAfee broadcast sharing information that circulates widely before the official pick is made.

"Fuck 'em," one of his guys said in response.

Then they went on to make it clear that the next pick would be Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson, before the pick was announced.

The picks usually are backed up two or three deep. Many know the next pick, and the pick after that, will be. The league can't even begin to control media outlets that don't reside under the thumb of Big Shield. It's interesting, and enlightening, to see one of the major broadcast partners giving the league the finger when it comes to tipping picks during digital coverage of the draft.

I still don't plan to tip picks in the future, because the fans don't want it. But I will say this — I don't want to hear any more complaining by the league office to NBC about anything I write here.