Press Release

April 12, 2021

Emmy® Award-Winning Analyst Kirk Herbstreit Headlines New ESPN Series on Top NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects

Emmy® Award-Winning Analyst Kirk Herbstreit Headlines New ESPN Series on Top NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects

April 12, 2021

 

EMMY® AWARD-WINNING ANALYST KIRK HERBSTREIT HEADLINES NEW ESPN SERIES ON TOP NFL DRAFT QUARTERBACK PROSPECTS

 

Seven-Episode ‘QB21 With Kirk Herbstreit’ to Feature Candid Conversations with Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones, Kyle Trask and Zach Wilson

 

‘QB21 With Kirk Herbstreit’ Episodes to Premiere on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC

 

Senior NFL Draft Analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay Front Multiple NFL Draft Specials

 

 

Leading into the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s lead college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit will headline a new ESPN series featuring candid conversations between the five-time Emmy® Award-winner and six of the highest-rated quarterbacks in this year’s class. “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit,” premiering on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, will delve into the journeys of Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trey Lance (North Dakota State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Mac Jones (Alabama), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Zach Wilson (BYU), as Herbstreit, who covered the players extensively during their college careers, prompts each of the quarterbacks to open up about their lives, both on-and-off the field, and mindset leading into the 2021 NFL Draft (April 29-May 1), a pinnacle event in their playing careers

 

“QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit” premieres Saturday, April 17; All episodes air across four consecutive days. The seven-episode “QB21” series will premiere across four consecutive days, beginning Saturday, April 17, with three episodes on ESPN featuring Lawrence (12:30 p.m. EDT), Jones (3 p.m. EDT) and Fields (3:30 p.m. EDT). Episodes with Trask (7 p.m. EDT) and Lance (7:30 p.m. EDT) debut Monday, April 19, and with Wilson (9 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, April 20, all on ESPN2. A compilation program featuring all six quarterbacks will air on Sunday, April 18 (2 p.m. EDT) on ABC.

 

Each episode will re-air multiple times in the coming weeks, including encores on SEC Network for Jones and Trask and ACC Network for Lawrence.

 

“When I thought about the approach for this series, my goal was to dive into the personal aspect of these six NFL prospects: how they’re wired, what makes them tick, and the personal challenges that they’ve had to deal with as an athlete,” said Herbstreit. “So each conversation is all-encompassing; about trying to get to know them from the very beginning, as early as we could go back, all the way to where they are now, on the cusp of their lives changing.”

 

“Working with Kirk, we developed a show concept early in the NFL Draft process, based around this year’s quarterback class,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production. “Kirk has a strong familiarity with the prospects and was passionate about providing the QBs a platform where they could share who they are as people. We immediately pursued the show, knowing it would add to an already robust NFL Draft portfolio, yet ‘QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit’ doesn’t happen without Justin, Mac, Trey, Trevor, Kyle and Zach entrusting Kirk and our entire features unit. We thank each of them and are eager to showcase a different side of their story leading into the NFL Draft.”

 

Among the themes for each episode of “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit” are the following:

  • Justin Fields: Leadership has been an inherent trait for Fields, a characteristic his teammates hold in high regard, which Herbstreit has witnessed first-hand. The fellow Ohio State quarterbacks discuss Fields’ approach and how his college career, one that began in his home state and ended with a Big Ten Championship and CFP National Championship appearance, have prepared him for the NFL.
  • Mac Jones: Preparation has been fuel for Jones’ success at Alabama, honing his mental and physical skills as a two-year backup to Heisman Trophy finalist Tua Tagovailoa for two seasons. Jones discusses how that foundation and approach resulted in him becoming a National Championship quarterback for the Crimson Tide this past season.
  • Trey Lance: The FCS star has a mantra he lives by: Know your worth. Learn how that way of life has guided him throughout his college career and into the NFL Draft process.
  • Trevor Lawrence: No stranger to the spotlight, Lawrence has been anointed a prodigy quarterback when he was 14 years old. Yet, he has continued to live up to expectations at every level. Now, he is dealing with his greatest challenge yet, as the anticipated No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
  • Kyle Trask: A high school backup turned multi-year starter for the Florida Gators, Trask has learned that nothing is given and everything is proven. His journey is one that has set him up for NFL success.
  • Zach Wilson: A multi-skilled quarterback, Wilson uses his instincts and improvisational approach while leading his team. He dives into this unique aspect of the game and how it translates to his future.

In addition to the conversation with Herbstreit, Pro Football Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Steve Young will make appearances during the Trask and Wilson episodes, respectively. Former NFL Rookie of the Year and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George will appear in Justin Fields’ episodes.

Senior NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay fronted programming among multiple NFL Draft specials this month. “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit” adds to an already wide array of NFL Draft programming across ESPN networks, with senior NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay leading a number of specials, including more mock drafts (“Kiper 4.0” on April 13 and “Mel and Todd’s Dueling Mock Draft” on April 20) and “You’ve Got Mel and Todd” on Thursday, April 15. Additional NFL Draft programming includes the following:

 

  • “Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL” featuring Florida TE Kyle Pitts, Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Penn State LB Micah Parsons and South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn.
    • Airing four consecutive weeks (April 13, 20, 27 and May 5), the NFL Films-produced series follows the soon-to-be NFL rookies through their final days in college football, to their hometowns, their Pro Days and through the NFL Draft.
  • “NFL Matchup” on Wednesday, April 21, and Tuesday, April 27.
    • Produced by NFL Films, game tapes of current draft prospects are examined to project whose skills translate best to the NFL. The show will focus on a range of prospects and positions, including S Andre Cisco (Syracuse), WR Elijah Moore (Ole Miss), CB Patrick Surtain (Alabama) and DL Payton Turner (Houston).
  • “SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: QB Class of 2021” on Monday, April 26.
    • An in-depth look at this year’s quarterback class, which is projected to make history with their respective draft positions.
  • “SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: NFL Nation Mock Draft” on Tuesday, April 27.
    • ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters make selections for the team each cover.

 

Additionally, ESPN+ has multiple NFL Draft programming specials available now and forthcoming, including more mock drafts, quarterback specials and in-depth looks at team needs. More details on those specials will be released soon.

 

The Walt Disney Company Presents the 2021 NFL Draft:

The Walt Disney Company’s team of veteran hosts, analysts and insiders will present the 2021 NFL Draft live coast-to-coast from Cleveland beginning Thursday, April 29, at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio, all available on the ESPN App. In addition, the event will be televised on NFL Network presented by Verizon and streamed live through NFL digital properties.

 

For the third consecutive year, ESPN and ABC will provide distinct prime-time presentations on days 1 and 2. ESPN will again offer the traditional draft telecast—a combination of X’s and O’s analysis, player highlights and storytelling—while ABC, featuring the eleven-time Sports Emmy Award-winning “College GameDay Built by The Home Depot” crew, will cover the event with an emphasis on the individual journeys of NFL Draft prospects. More: https://bit.ly/3d06snq

 

 

NFL Draft Original Programming – ESPN Networks

Date

Time (EDT)

Show

Network

Tue, April 13

7 p.m.

SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: Kiper Mock 4.0

ESPN2

 

8 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 1)

ESPN2

Thu, April 15

9 p.m.

SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: You’ve Got Mel and Todd

ESPN

Sat, April 17

12:30 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Trevor Lawrence)

ESPN

 

3 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Mac Jones)

ESPN

 

3:30 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Justin Fields)

ESPN

Sun, Apr 18

2 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Compilation Show)

ABC

Mon, Apr 19

7 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Kyle Trask)

ESPN2

 

7:30 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Trey Lance)

ESPN2

Tue, Apr 20

8:30 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 2)

ESPN2

 

9 p.m.

QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit (Zach Wilson)

ESPN2

Wed, Apr 21

9 p.m.

NFL Matchup

ESPN2

Mon, Apr 26

8 p.m.

QB Class of 2021

ESPN2

Tue, Apr 27

8 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 3)

ESPN2

 

8:30 p.m.

SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: NFL Nation Mock Draft

ESPN2

 

10 p.m.

NFL Matchup

ESPN2

Tue, May 4

7 p.m.

SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: Draft Grades

ESPN2

Wed, May 5

8 p.m.

Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL (Episode 4)

ESPN2

 

ESPN Media Contacts:

Allie Stoneberg at allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com

Derek Volner at derek.volner@espn.com

 

Media Relations

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