As the NFL draft becomes an even larger television property, ESPN adds its best college football analyst.
Kirk Herbstreit will join presenter Trey Wingo and analysts Mel Kiper and Louis Riddick as ESPN's main broadcast team for the draft. Herbstreit is taking the place previously occupied by Jon Gruden when he was the announcer for Monday Night Football, before becoming the head coach of the Raiders. ESPN also confirmed that Todd McShay, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and Suzy Kolber will be part of the team in Dallas. McShay will join the main set for the second and third day of the draft.
ESPN has been losing ground in the draft for years, as NFL Network has consistently eaten with ESPN's participation in the draft hearing. This year, with FOX and NFL Network forming a team for a broadcast project that will air on both networks, ESPN is likely to fall to second place in a broadcast that ESPN did more than anyone to join the NFL's offseason event .  ESPN may believe that Herbstreit, coming from college football, will have more convincing observations about players and can add valuable information that the NFL Network traditionally lacked. The flip side is that Herbstreit will not be as knowledgeable about the NFL teams and their needs as Gruden.
"I'm going to stay in my lane, we'll just talk about these guys as college football players," Herbstreit said in a video posted on ESPN.
Last year, the main team of the NFL Network was Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock, Daniel Jeremiah and Stanford head coach, David Shaw. NFL Network and FOX have not announced who their talent will be on the air this year.