George Grande had no idea what ESPN was about to create when he anchored the first telecast of the NFL draft in 1980.
“We didn’t know who or how many people would be watching,” Grande said. “For us it gave us a link to the NFL, it helped our coverage of college football and we had fun doing it.”
ESPN’s coverage that first year went eight-plus hours on a Tuesday with Grande on site from the ballroom of the New York Sheraton.
So much has changed since then. All three days of this year’s draft, which begins Thursday, will be carried on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network and the event itself has become a traveling road show, with Nashville hosting this time.