Major events, especially sporting events, have become multi-screen experiences, meaning that it’s no longer enough to just sit in front of the TV and watch what unfolds. Today’s media technology demands that you watch what happens with a phone or laptop nearby to monitor and engage in social media and assume an active part in the news and proceedings.
The NFL Draft is no different, as fans now turn to Twitter as a prime companion for the pomp and circumstance of the next generation of pro footballers being coronated on live air. Twitter has achieved so much popularity as a Draft Day tool that the NFL has explicitly warned broadcasters to refrain from live tweeting picks until the league can announce them on TV.
Draft Day trades are also exciting. And so, social media is the place for real time reactions, behind-the-scenes scoops, and as with anything that includes status updates and 140-character bits of opinion and analysis, there will be plenty of trolling, too.
So before you hunker down and threaten your marriage by watching seven rounds and 256 picks of NFL hopefuls, prospects, and projects walk across a stage to hug a man no one really likes, consult our handy guide of the best handles you should be following through it all.
The ESPN insider is a go-to source for NFL news, transactions, and rumors. If a deal is in the works, he’ll have it first. He seems to know things even before the people making the deal do.
The second half of ESPN’s NFL duo with Schefter, Mortensen is a steady stream of information and analysis of all things football, though he’s not as active as Schefter on Twitter, or in breaking news.
He may have a much smaller following than his ESPN rivals, but Glazer’s feed is ripe with plenty of scoops and his quirky opinions thanks to living in the NFL’s inner circle. He’s also far more entertaining.
The NFL Network analyst’s stock has been on the rise. As a former scout, he offers unique insight and plenty of links to his popular Move the Sticks podcast series.
Pro Football Talk
A must-follow during the hot stove season because it is one of the best sites out there for publishing rumors. While it may not break as many stories as the Schefters and Glazers of the world, PFT is a treasure trove of info and material trolling ESPN.
Faux John Madden
One of the best fake Twitter handles out there, Faux Madden is a fire hose of snark. From the image of a smoke-filled room (a live look-in at Josh Gordon and Le’Veon Bell on 4/20) to joke reports of the Browns trying to trade up to ruin Marcus Mariota, this feed pulls no punches.
Bob’s identity is a mystery, but his tweets have a reputation for correctly forecasting big trades, dishing insider information, and mercilessly trolling rivals in the media. Among his favorite targets are ESPN and PFT’s Mike Florio.
The NFL Network
The NFL’s official TV station is wall-to-wall football, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its Twitter feed will direct you to plenty of network fluff, but this is the place to go for behind-the-scenes info and a staggering volume of draft-related content.
Official NFL Handle
A lot of the time, league Twitter accounts are pretty vanilla and full of PR-friendly puff. Not the NFL. During last year’s draft, for example, @NFL trolled Johnny Manziel hard as he fell in the first round, piling on with #SadManziel tweets while Johnny Football languished in the green room until the Browns finally selected him No. 22 overall.
ESPN’s draft guru and mock draft aficionado works all year for this one week. While he may not accurately forecast every pick, he’s a fountain of information on just about every player who is going to be selected.
Mel Kiper Jr.
The OG of NFL Draft analysts, Kiper has been a fixture at this event as long as the podium has. Not as active as some of his peers on Twitter, Kiper has mostly been tweeting links to his stuff on ESPN.com, and plenty of back slapping Bristol colleagues.
And don’t forget…
Your Favorite Team
The NFL Draft has the potential to alter the future for your squad by getting an impact player or two. If you’re a fan of the New York Jets (@nyjets), this event is usually just a major bummer. No matter what happens, you’re going to want to follow your team for insider news and oodles of puffery about all the “studs” they draft.
The Top Players
The potential No. 1 pick will be nowhere near the NFL Draft in Chicago. Jameis Winston (@Jaboowins) has opted to spend the night at home with friends and family, so following him on Twitter might provide for some entertainment.