Mel Kiper Jr. will cover the 2022 NFL Draft remotely from his home studio in Maryland rather than on-site in Las Vegas.
The long-time analyst has covered the NFL Draft for nearly 40 years.
He’s not allowed to cover this year’s draft on-site due to his personal medical choice of not taking the experimental COVID-19 shot.
Kiper Jr. released this statement:
I am looking forward to being part of the 2022 NFL Draft, my 39th for ESPN pic.twitter.com/C5ea9NjdqK
— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) April 18, 2022
“I appreciate my colleagues, particularly the production staff and my fellow commentators, for their support and flexibility. NFL fans are the most passionate in all of sports and I can’t wait for another great NFL draft,” he said.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 18, 2022
Mel Kiper announces @espn won’t let him attend the NFL Draft because he didn’t get the covid shot. So he’s working from home. This is so dumb. Hundreds of thousands of people in Las Vegas will be attending the draft without covid shots or masks. https://t.co/cH2sRautbr
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 19, 2022
This year’s draft may be a bust without a familiar face in attendance.
Longtime ESPN-NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. will forego attending the 2022 NFL Draft over his unvaccinated status. Kiper stated that being unvaccinated prohibits him from onsite reporting.
“I completely support everyone determining what’s best for their individual circumstance and recognize the value of vaccines,” Kiper said, via Twitter.
“Simply put, my Covid vaccination decision is very specific to my own personal medical history,” he added.
Kiper, 61, will instead be chiming in remotely during the broadcast — extending his run as the network’s premier draft analyst since 1984. He last made a virtual appearance when in-person attendance for the 2020 NFL Draft was canceled due to COVID.
Black and White Sports provided commentary: