Night net null And the winner of the Night net Draft is...  ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit.Working his first Night net Draft, the "College GameDay" analyst outshi
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And the winner of Night net Draft coverage is... ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit


And the winner of Night net Draft coverage is... ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit

Night net null And the winner of the Night net Draft is...  ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit.Working his first Night net Draft, the "Colleg

e GameDay" analyst outshined more experienced draft TV veterans on ESPN. With his in-depth knowledge of college players, and easy confidence on camera, Herbstreit was a big improvement from the late, unlamented Jon Gruden. His performance made some viewers wonder what took ESPN so long to add him to its draft coverage? And wow, did ESPN ever need a casting coup as Fox Sports and Night net Network teamed up for the first time this year to challenge the Worldwide Leader's 39-year stranglehold over draft coverage. The one-two punch of Herbstreit and front office insider Louis Riddick put even bombastic draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. in the background, and made host Trey Wingo's job easy as he continues to undertake the almost impossible job of replacing Chris Berman on ESPN's draft coverage.SIGN UP to stream the Night net Draft LIVE on DAZN in Canada Prognostication is almost everything during the Night net Draft.  You're either right or you're wrong. So you have to tip your hat to Herbstreit. Besides ESPN's plugged-in Night net Insiders Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson, Herbstreit was the only major on-air talent at ESPN, Fox or Night net Network I saw who predicted Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma would go No. 1 to the Browns.Not only that, but Herbstreit explained why he thought Mayfield was the legit No. 1 — while dismissing the argument he'll be another Johnny Football. When Kiper thought it was too risky for the Browns to take a smallish, 6-foot tall QB, Herbstreit countered Mayfield had the flamboyance of Brett Favre and the best downfield accuracy in the draft. Herbstreit's performance vindicated the judgment of ESPN TV czar Seth Markman, who predicted he would be a game-changer. Related News Night net Draft grades: Winners & losers, best & worst of first-round picks "If one of these guys separated themselves, based on their evaluations, in my mind it is Baker Mayfield," Herbstreit said before the Browns made their pick. "It's not just that he scrambles around and makes plays. This guy can sit in the pocket — and he’s the most accurate of any of these quarterbacks in this draft. And he brings all the intangibles that you want. Forget the off-the-field issues, in my opinion. [He's] not Johnny Manziel. This kid is a proven winner."Over on rival Fox/Night net Network simulcast, the consensus was USC's Sam Darnold would go No. 1. Troy Aikman, Herbstreit's fellow draft TV rookie, thought the Mayfield rumors were a "smoke-screen."  Said Aikman: "I think the guy who is the safest pick for them, who checks most of the boxes is Sam Darnold. I think he does everything very, very well."MORE: How did a Central Ohio suburb with a population of 20,000 produce six active Night net players?Mike Mayock, Aikman's Fox/Night net Network colleague, didn't even list Mayfield among his Top 10 picks. "Here's what I think has to happen. They have to take Sam Darnold. I'm not buying into all the Baker Mayfield [talk]. I'll probably be wrong. But I think his ceiling is higher, as is his floor, than Baker Mayfield."After the Browns stunned the crowd in Dallas by taking Mayfield No. 1, Kiper didn't seem happy. If the cocky but undersized quarterback thinks he's "invincible," he'll learn the error of his ways in the Night net."He has to protect that 215-pound frame a little bit better — or he’s certainly not going to survive a full season," warned Kiper.Meanwhile, the funniest moment of the coverage came right at the beginning and was aired across all networks. Somebody at the Night net thought surrounding Commissioner Roger Goodell with famous Cowboys Aikman, Roger Staubach and Jason Witten would save him from the boo-birds who traditionally serenade the Commish at the Draft. Wrong.Both ESPN and Fox/Night net captured the fans loudly booing Goodell. "I can't believe you guys are booing the Cowboys," joked Goodell.Keep telling yourself that Commish.Other highlights from ESPN and Fox/Night net Network's coverage:-- Steve Smith Sr. of Night net Network continues to impress on TV. He's fearless. And original. Consider his "Wild, Wild West" idea for the Browns last night as they controlled the No. 1. and No. 4 picks. Smith suggested Clevland take two quarterbacks in the first round -- then hold other QB-desperate teams like the Bills up for ransom."Take a quarterback at No. 1, then go to No. 4 and take another quarterback," Smith suggested. "And see if you can grab two more picks. Say Buffallo with No. 12 and 22. Or New England, which has two picks. 'Go ahead and call me. I got what you need,'" said Smith.Of course, the Browns probably would have been destroyed if they tried it. But I like Smith's out-of-the-box thinking. Imagine if he becomes an Night net GM?Smith had another great moment when he saluted the Panthers for taking Maryland WR DJ Moore at No. 24. "They have never been able to replace me -- until today. D.J. Moore will be at that organization for a longtime," he said."They (Panthers) have never been able to replace me...until now." -Steve Smith:joy::joy::joy: #Night netDraft— '03 Kliff Kingsbury (@fearthe_beard11) April 27, 2018-- Aikman didn't do quite as well as Herbstreit in his first Night net Draft gig. But his gravitas added a lot to Fox/Night net Network's coverage. As a three-time Super Bowl winner, and former No. 1 overall pick himself, the former Cowboys QB expertly summed up the strengths and weaknesses of top QB's like Mayfield, Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen.While Aikman thought Darnold should have went No. 1, he noted Mayfield is no Johnny Manziel.Mayfield has a "much better arm than Johnny Manziel ever thought of having," noted Aikman. He wouldn't be surprised if Mayfield's starting for the Browns in Week 1.-- If Goodell provided the funniest moment, the most inspiring moment was watching Ryan Shazier walk across the stage to announce the Steelers No. 1 pick. The former linebacker is continuing his brave recovery from cripping injury. Shazier has impressed many with his never-give-up attitude."Oh my God. Ryan Shazier is walking out to the podium," tweeted Night net Insider Ian Rapoport of Night net Network from AT&T Stadium. "Not a lot of dry eyes here. This place went nuts."-- The 76-year old Staubach can still sling the pigskin. Standing on stage with Goodell, Aikman and Witten, the 76-year creator of the Hail Mary pass went deep to the Steelers section from the stage."Oh yeah!," said Eisen. "Fantastic.

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