No contest. ESPN is the original and the classic best. Tremendous entertainment value. Berman prompting and needling Kiper is as much a part of the draft as the picks themselves. Great presentation, theme music and graphics with just the proper balance of analysis and curiosity.
Eisen is simply not in Berman's league. If he had been, he wouldn't have been a nobody at ESPN. Eisen can be crude when it's least appropriate. He has poor instincts in whose opinion he seeks on a given player or team. Overall it's a schlock presentation that desperately tries to save itself via wise guy content.
The best approach is to tape both of them, while picking one to focus on live. ESPN errs in demoting McShay the first day. He should be allowed to bicker with Kiper but obviously the other guys like Gruden have priority written into their contracts. During the final day, ESPN can wobble and spend too much time reviewing the early picks, while NFL Network continues to scrutinize the ongoing selections. Suzy Kolber launches her chirpy tone and asks one head coach after another about picks made two days earlier. At that point NFL Network is superior but even then the gap is not what many fans want to believe. NFL Network is spending considerably more time looking at first round picks than they did initially.
I saw this question asked a few days ago in a thread on the draft forum of footballsfuture.com. The author obviously anticipated an avalanche in favor of NFL Network. In fact, he arrogantly used capitalization in the header, asking if ANYBODY would watch ESPN?
LOL. That's an extremely confident board. Opinions that don't necessarily conform. I knew he wouldn't receive anything close to what he expected. It was virtually a split. The guys on that site don't cave in to conventional wisdom, or as if they have to answer to fit in with the crowd. That won't be popular but IMO it's the reason threads like this always favor NFL Network heavily. The people who take the time to respond believe they are safer if they say NFL Network.
Awsi nailed it exactly. ESPN is the far better option early on. They have a much wider access to college tape, better overall on-air talent and much better production values. Also, most of the pre-draft shows I watch are on NFL Network, which means I've already heard every clever line or unique angle I'm ever going to hear from those guys. I watch comparatively little of ESPN's pre draft shows, not just because they imbed them in other shows I don't want to watch, but also to keep it fresh. That's the best fit for me, as ESPN holds the nostalgia angle by a wide margin and it's overall a better viewing experience. The one year I watched NFL Network's coverage throughout was my least favorite draft to watch of any I've seen, and I've seen every pick of every draft since 1999. With that much history, all things being equal I'm going to prefer ESPN. But in this case it's not equal.
ESPN's coverage definitely falls away as the draft goes on, though. Awsi is right to point that out, with interminable interviews with coaches and GMs that waste valuable time and are bookend by commercials so that you lose 10 picks by the time they come back. By the third day I'm watching NFL Network.
Another thing: it still bothers me that they've extended it to three days and shortened the time between picks in the early rounds. It used to be a true Iron Man competition to watch it all. You had to plan out your meals and showers ahead of time. Now it's so much easier to watch it's opened the door to much more armchair analysis by people who don't spend the time. In that way it's a classic Goodell move... giving the league more surface area with no concern for depth, like pouring a glass of water on the floor.
Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile,
And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
NFLN. Kiper blows
interesting point about a fresh angle you may have not seen with espns coverage...it does kinda get to the point on nfl network where you know exactly what mayocks take on a player and feel is gonna be given all the path to the draft nfl combine senior bowl week coverage etc....can't say i've paid much attention to kiper or mcshays analysis...mcshays a hack anyways...
i know one thing that nfl network game changers show is god awful...looks like something i would expect from espn frankly...nothing to get out of it...fluff pieces
i kinda switch between the two but i prefer NFLN
I'm ok with both, but don't like after the second round when espn says lets recap the past 5 picks that took place while we were showing an interview of someone that was drafted earlier.