"Outstanding" Vs. "Explosive": Comparing The NFL Draft CoverageS

You may have watched Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft, on either ESPN or the NFL Network. Most of you didn't though, so we got our hands on the the transcripts to let you know what you missed.

Above are two word clouds showing the most common words used on the two networks. A lot of common words dominated—"pick," "draft," "now." But there were some noticeable differences; here's a rundown of the differences the two networks' coverage:

1. The NFL Network spent more time on the pomp of the draft itself.

Football players are interesting. NFL teams, with their unique needs and drafting histories, are interesting. The actual minute-to-minute events of a player draft are not interesting. Nevertheless, the NFL Network used the words "clock," "selection," "overall," "commissioner," and "league," a total of 183 times, versus just 44 times for ESPN.

2. ESPN gave a shit about the combine, the NFL Network did not.

The words "combine," "vertical," and "40" were mentioned a total of 45 times in the ESPN broadcast, and just seven times in the NFL Network broadcast. Alternatively, the word "tape" was mentioned sixteen times in the NFL broadcast, and zero times on ESPN ("film" or "video" were said four times). Combine numbers are an easily digestible, and often unrevealing method of comparing NFL prospects. Reading tape calls for a subtler, better analysis of player technique. Guess which one actual GMs trust more?

3. The NFL Network mentioned "injury" or "injuries" just once.

It was in regards to the Giant's decimated O-line. ESPN made 12 such mentions, covering both current NFL team needs and the medical histories of top draft picks. This is some very basic and relevant analysis, but the NFL Network stayed away.

4. ESPN overused "outstanding," while the NFL Network overused "explosive."

People who are outstanding: Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Tavon Austin, Datone Jones, Cordarrelle Patterson, Howie Long(!), and Marc Trestman(!!!). People who are explosive: Bruce Irvin, Sharrif Floyd, Ryan Williams, Tavon Austin, Tyler Eifert, Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, and Howie Long (again!). Synonyms are your friends, people!