Jimmy Traina and Rich Eisen

Rich Eisen has worn a lot of hats over the years for NFL Network, but none have been as consistent as his work with the NFL Draft. This year’s NFL Draft will be Eisen’s 19th year in a row, in which he’s served as the network’s lead host. 

Eisen joined Jimmy Traina on the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. During their conversation, he discussed his philosophy for hosting the draft on NFL Network, and even joked that he could emcee the event at a moment’s notice if Commissioner Roger Goodell was somehow unavailable. 

Traina asked Eisen if there’s such a thing as over-studying for the NFL Draft, peppering the audience with too many anecdotes and stories.

“My job is to if you are actually going to sit down and watch a four to five hour event, I need to make it something that you want to hang and watch,” Eisen said. “If there’s too much of me in it, if I’m in your face, if I make everything a joke, if I make everything about me, you’re gonna turn off. And that’s the last thing I want to do. For lack of a better phrase and I’ll say it anyway, I just want it to be a douche-free environment. That’s it. That’s literally my radar screen the entire time when I weave in what I need to weave in.”

It’s Eisen’s job to host, so he’ll let the other guys — Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Joel Klatt and Peter Schrager — break down the All-22 film analysis. Generally speaking, Eisen knows how to effectively do his role, but he also knows when it’s time for him to get out of the way and allow the analysts to do what they do best.

“We could definitely use less douche in sports,” Traina quipped.

“If you’re gonna literally sit there and want to spend an hour or two, I got to make sure it’s entertaining, you’re engaged, but also informed and not gonna hit the button,” Eisen replied.

After 19 years of hosting, it’s clear that Eisen has a good feel for what viewers want to hear when they tune in for the NFL Draft, as will be the case starting today.

[Sports Illustrated Media Podcast]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.