We Rate Productions: 2024 NFL Draft Edition

With the 2024 NFL Draft in the books, armchair GMs around the country are filling your timeline with draft grades for all 32 teams. Well, I consider myself more of an armchair EP, so lets shift the attention from the front office to behind the camera and offer up ratings of draft productions – from the teams to the media networks. If you’re watching at home, it may feel like the draft is a slow burn, but behind the scenes, the production teams embrace the chaos and use efficient workflows to react in real-time, creating a fully interactive experience for their audience. If you’re new here, we take our judging inspiration from the best in the biz, WeRateDogs.

Cincinnati Bengals

Courtesy: @Bengals on X

#RuleTheJungle, more like #RuleTheProduction. Turning up the production value on a standard press conference is the elevated experience all fans deserve. The Bengals brought it all with a cascading waterfall of reactions from fans, a running ticker that updates automatically as picks are made, and the cherry on top, it’s all sponsored. Plus, we can’t overlook how clean and on brand the graphics are. Sign me up for a 13 minutes of coach speak and cliche one liners with a production like this. Bravo to the Bengals! 15/10 Elevated press conference meets new revenue stream. Who Dey think they gonna beat dem Bengals?

Baltimore Ravens

Courtesy: Ravens on YouTube

Consistent W’s put on the board as teams go with the L-bar look for their live streams. #RavensFlock showed us a success story in keeping it rather simple. Clean, elegant design, and sponsorship front and center. Gives their audience of 20k plus on the stream an opportunity to do a little window shopping while taking in the press conference. Overall it’s such a sharp design and turns up the professionalism on the press conference. 13/10 Big points for multiple sponsorships, and promoting additional content.

Dallas Cowboys

Courtesy: @dallascowboys on X

Big cheers for Big D and their Miller Lite Draft Show special! With a radio style show, the Cowboys don’t forget about the video component which plays so nicely to stop the scroll on social channels. It was the first spot fans could hear from their newest draft pick, and the show does numbies! What Dallas does best is drive commerce with the QR code, they had tens of thousands of viewers and they were sending their audience to the official pro shop on Fanatics to secure gear for their first round selection, Tyler Guyton. 14/10 Hat tip for driving commerce conversions and exclusive fan access.

Green Bay Packers

Courtesy: Green Bay Packers on YouTube

Countdown clocks, QR codes, and sponsored segments, oh my #GoPackGo! What a complete collection of graphics for a great vibe for their draft party. Additional bonus points for the Pack with the rundown of interviews to come on the sidebar. Crack a Miller Lite and soak in a great interview with Jayden Reed. The QR code to survey is something we haven’t seen before and really like the instant feedback from fans on what they want to see next year. 13/10 a championship production to match their total number of NFL championships. Just like their QB1, I Love this production, and need more of this!

Kansas City Chiefs

Courtesy: Kansas City Chiefs on YouTube

The back-to-back Super Bowl champions are elite on and off the field, that includes their production efforts and draft day watch party. Breaking news of the trade and draft selection to their viewers in real-time is the kind of access a fan base wants. Social reactions, live reaction from the voice of the Chiefs, and then soon followed by the press conference with Head Coach Andy Reid, is the holy trinity of a draft day special. 13/10 for the tortured production department, who are always grinding in the dark so their live streams shine in the lights. Lights, camera, smile.

New York Jets

Courtesy: New York Jets on YouTube

Dunkin Draft Special, does anything else need to be said? The judges here are a sucker for strong sponsorship integration, and with Dunkin very prominently branded across the show, we’re all about it. That includes prominent placement on the data-driven ticker that is auto-updating as each pick is made. Another very positive theme we’ve seen here, and across other streams, is the instant interview with the teams newest draft pick. Instant interview leads to instant connection with the fanbase. 12/10 for Broadway Joe, as this production was elevated, entertaining, and fit for the brightest lights in show business.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Courtesy: Pittsburgh Steelers on YouTube

The Steelers are all about bringing the fan voice into their productions, and that makes the production judges very happy. When it comes to draft day, the only thing sports fans love more than sharing their opinion with their friends, is sharing it with the general manager of their favorite team. The Steelers do a great job of letting their fan base voice their opinion on who the team should select with their first round pick. 13/10 their towels are terrible but their productions are awesome! Fan engagement is the victory formation of production, it always results in a win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Courtesy: Bucs Insider at Buccaneers.com

Raise the flag for the Bucs Insider draft production; showcasing clean graphics, QR codes, and a social ticker with updates from the team and insiders. This production has it all – the sponsorships, the scan to secure season tickets, the rundown on the left rail, the list goes on. What we want to call out is the use of social media to share news updates, it’s a fast and easy way to bring the latest news to a production without having to manually build out graphics. Saves time while also showing love to the insiders who broke the news. 12/10 a consistently great, eye popping, and reliable production, just like Will Gholston, who’s entering year 12 of a historic career with the Bucs.

Washington Commanders

Courtesy: Washington Commanders on YouTube

Geeking out over the Commanders pre-draft production, sponsored by SeatGeek. The draft day excitement always reaches a fever pitch in the hours leading up to the first round and this show was the perfect pre-draft primer. It featured analysis from on location at the draft party, and back in the studio at Commanders HQ, as well as live updates throughout. The L-bar look is clean, well organized, and provides plenty of great on-screen real-estate to include sponsors, relevant information, and a live draft day ticker. 14/10 #RaiseHail because this production brings the juice. The post-draft grades for the Commanders have been among the best in the league, and their production team might have outperformed the front office.

Bleacher Report

Courtesy: Bleacher Report App

With three days of in-depth draft production and analysis, the team at B/R was live for several hours and they crushed it every step of the way. Every draft viewer knows the picks happen on social media before you even see them on the broadcast, and Bleacher Report brings the insider content to their production in seconds to announce the draft picks. Production value was at an all time high, as CJ Stroud and Micah Parsons kept things entertaining while also providing instant reaction and analysis from the eyes of current NFL players. 11/10 cause like #11 Micah Parsons himself, this production is disruptive, must-see, and among the best in the league year-after-year.

NFL Network

Courtesy: Draft Center on NFL Network

We close it out with the flagship media outlet for the shield, NFL Media. Obviously their coverage of the draft on linear is as good as it gets, but we want to call out all the shoulder content on linear and digital that matches that elite level. Sports Video Group did a great write up on the Fantasy Footballers Podcast taking their show to NFL+ for instant analysis and reactions. The L-bar/J-bar graphic design is the star of draft weekend for teams and media outlets, and NFL Media’s Draft Center production continues that trend providing a clean look and strong balance of live data and relevant information for viewers. 11/10 as a shoutout to “NFL 360” and their industry leading 11 Sports Emmy noms this year, the linear and digital teams showed off plenty of award-worthy live content around the draft.

These are only a handful of the many amazing productions that went live around the draft, from teams to the media companies. We also didn’t include the many draft parties hosted by teams in-person and in-venue, unless you’re the Rams who hosted on the beach. There’s no topping those vibes. NFL content and coverage has a hold on the top broadcasts in the country every year, and the NFL Draft coverage was a great example of how they keep their fanbase engaged 365 days a year.