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ESPN, NFL Network agree not to spoil suspense of draft on Twitter

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Sounds like the league prefers not to spoil draft suspense on Twitter. (USATSI)
Sounds like the league prefers not to spoil draft suspense on Twitter. (USATSI)

Because they do the on-location television coverage for the draft, the analysts who work for ESPN and NFL Network will know in advance who's being taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. But this year, those folks aren't going to spoil the picks on Twitter.

Instead, they will "speculate" on who might be chosen.

"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 told Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated. "It goes against a lot of our instincts as journalists and it's totally different than anything I deal with, but we feel like it is a win for the fans and our viewers."

That "speculation" is a frustrating thing for me; it basically involves things like "could this be the first quarterback taken? Who knows!" before a quarterback is taken. I'd be curious to see how viewers feel about that type of "speculation" as well.

But it won't be all "speculation" -- ESPN's Adam Schefter told the Sherman Report that he plans on revealing information about non-"standard" picks as they come along.

"I'm not going to report standard picks. If a team is sitting still at 15, I'm not going to tweet (that pick)," Schefter said. "In other words, mundane, run-of-the mill picks, leave alone. But if it's a quarterback or a bold move, have at it. ESPN places no restrictions on me (in that regard)."

Keep in mind, we'll be publishing every pick of the draft, oftentimes ahead of the broadcast via the @eyeonnfl account. Be sure to follow that for up-to-the-second pick-by-pick news.

Schefter says he was straight-up told by ESPN between the first and second rounds of the draft last year that "we don't want you reporting on any picks" before they happen. And Schefter sounded somewhat frustrated in a quote about the NFL asking ESPN to reign it in.

"I am almost certain -- not to put words in someone's mouth -- that the NFL has spoken to ESPN and ESPN has told me to be more selective about what I'm tweeting in advance," Schefter said. "I am trying to be as considerate as possible and tweet everything we're getting, but I am going to tweet the headline-making items."

It's a tough line to walk. You want to maximize the experience for people watching at home, but you also don't want to look like you're behind the eight-ball when it comes to knowing the picks.

Maybe I'm off and Schefter isn't frustrated by being roped in; but I wouldn't blame him at all if he was. If you don't want to find out who teams are picking and what moves they might be making, you should probably stay off Twitter or unfollow people who deliver the NFL's breaking news.

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