Should Mel Kiper Be In The Football Hall Of Fame? One ESPN Exec Thinks So

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The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the books, which means the likes of Mel Kiper Jr. will shift their focus to the next crop of prospects.

The NFL Draft is Kiper’s Super Bowl. The guy has been part of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for decades.

In fact, he’s so synonymous with the event that one ESPN exec says that Kiper should be enshrined in Canton.


“There is no NFL Draft on TV without Mel Kiper.” ESPN vice president of production Seth Markman told Front Office Sports.

“He’s an institution. I think he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for what he’s accomplished and what he’s brought to this TV event.”

It’s an interesting argument.

There’s no denying Kiper has a Hall of Fame hairdo, but my knee-jerk reaction to this idea was no way.

I just figured that Markman is just pumping his guy’s tires. Kiper is the network’s top dog when it comes to the Draft. The Draft is also a pretty big deal for the network, pumping up Kiper therefore means pumping the Draft too.

It’s the transitive property of tire pumping. Look it up.

Mel Kiper Jr.
Mel Kiper Jr. has been a staple of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for decades. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

There’s A Pretty Good Case To Be Made For Kiper Being Inducted

However, the more I thought about, it the more I think Marksman might actually be right. There’s a strong case for Mel Kiper Jr being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

According to the NFL, the league only started broadcasting the Draft in 1980, before that it was held in a hotel conference room. ESPN didn’t have a lot to broadcast back then and wanted to televise the Draft. At the time, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle didn’t think anyone would want to watch it. I mean, on paper, it’s kind of boring.

However, as it turns out, people watched it. Over the years, it gained a bigger presence, and more attention was placed on the draft and the drafting process. That was thanks to analysts like…

….anyone? …anyone?

Yeah, that’s right; Mel Kiper Jr.

Making the NFL Draft watchable made other leagues try the same thing. No one would watch the NBA, MLB, or NHL Drafts had the NFL Draft not taken off.

So, there’s a strong case to be made that Kiper — ESPN’s top NFL Draft analyst — had a major impact on not only football but sports in general.

That sounds like reason enough to get a free trip to Ohio and one of those snazzy gold jackets.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.


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