Viewership Down for Opening Round of 2019 NFL Draft Coverage

NFL Draft
The Associated Press

Viewership for the 2019 NFL Draft was down over numbers from 2018, according to reports.

Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand noted on Friday afternoon that the first round earned 11.1 million viewers total over the several networks which is down slightly over 2018.

Ourand’s breakdown of last year’s numbers clearly shows the slight decline.

Even with ESPN winning the night’s coverage, it was still down in viewers over last year.

The lower numbers this year may be attributable to a little less star power in the draft prospects for this year over last year.

Still, this data represents a significant number of viewers when most other TV is lucky to get a few million viewers.

Speaking of these TV analysts and their draft coverage, one NFL player had some advice for them: Shut up.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield grew irate over the coverage of this year’s draft and slammed the sports media as people who aren’t even athletic enough to “play checkers.”

Mayfield may have somewhat of a point. After all, the sports media spent months hyping the Draft status of D.K. Metcalf and touted him as a likely first-round pick based off his blazing 4.33 40-yard dash run during the NFL’s scouting combine in February. But instead of being a first-round pick, Metcalf barely made the cut and was instead the very last pick for the Seattle Seahawks. Chalk that up as a wildly missed piece of sports analysis.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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