Trey Wingo on NFL Draft’s Las Vegas debut, marathon ESPN broadcast, uncertainty around no. 1 pick

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The NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas for the first time as the league has fully embraced sports gambling and all the dollars and cents that have come with it.

Caesars Entertainment, the official casino sponsor of the NFL, will be hosting the draft. The NFL Draft Theater and NFL Draft Experience will be adjacent to the Caesars Forum and behind the High Roller, which towers over the Linq and the rest of the Las Vegas Strip.

Trey Wingo, Caesars’ chief trends officer and former ESPN broadcaster, told Fox News Digital in a recent interview that the draft capital of the entertainment world made the most sense to him.

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On April 26, 2022, Caesars Palace is ready for the NFL Draft.

On April 26, 2022, Caesars Palace is ready for the NFL Draft.
(Ryan Gaydos / Fox News)

“I’m old enough to remember 2014 when the NFL kicked off Tony Romo’s fantasy football convention at a Vegas hotel and now we’re here at the draft and down the street from the Las Vegas Raiders. Times change, things evolve, “Wingo said. “Once the Supreme Court struck down that ruling, all bets were off. The NFL’s really good at two things – making money and keeping our attention year-round. It was a huge market for them to delve into and it worked out really well. them.

“Ten years ago, I would’ve said you’re crazy. Now, it makes all the sense in the world.”

Wingo will be working with his former ESPN colleague Kenny Mayne on some of Caesars’ social media accounts, which he jokingly said “could be a disaster and it could be very awesome.” Wingo said he’ll be doing a lot of reading and analyzing and analyzing draft picks as he comes in as well as talking to some Pro Football Hall of Famers and other NFL legends.

“The draft is the ultimate crapshoot so it makes all the sense in the world it should in Vegas. Every pick, whether you believe it or not, is a roll of the dice,” he added.

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Wingo got his first experience broadcasting on the draft for ESPN in 2000. He described Fox News Digital as a marathon.

“We did a live stream of the draft from the ESPN Sports Zone. It was me and five players that I had never met before – five NFL players talking about the draft. And when I tell you it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. done in my life … That was when it was 15 minutes between picks in the first round. We had five players and five microphones. No commercial breaks. No one to say, ‘Hey you guys talk about …’ It was exhausting, but also fun.

“Then I started doing stuff with Jaws (Ron Jaworski) and (Merril Hoge) at the draft and eventually took over days two and three. And then for five years in a row I was the main host of the draft. There’s nothing like it. Like the energy you feed off the crowd. There is no other way to describe it, it’s just fun. “

This year’s draft could be as chaotic and “fun” as ever.

There is no clear-cut No. 1 pick as there has been in recent years. Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker and Evan Neal have all been rumored to be potential top picks when the Jacksonville Jaguars go on the clock.

Bo Nix of the Auburn Tigers rolls out of the pocket as he is pressed by Travon Walker of the Georgia Bulldogs at the Jordan-Hare Stadium on October.  9, 2021, in Auburn, Alabama.

Bo Nix of the Auburn Tigers rolls out of the pocket as he is pressed by Travon Walker of the Georgia Bulldogs at the Jordan-Hare Stadium on October. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Alabama.
(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Wingo said Caesars Sportsbook has the Georgia standout walker going No. 1.

“But that makes this draft fun, right? Six of the last seven drafts, quarterbacks were doing No. 1. In fact, this would be the sixth time since 2001 when a quarterback doesn’t go No. 1. But someone’s going to reach a quarterback because they always do, “Wingo said.

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“Since 2001, there has been only one draft where a quarterback was not taken in the top three and that was in 2013 when EJ Manuel went 16th overall to Buffalo. We had at least three quarterbacks go in the first round since the last The only time it didn’t happen was in 2015 when Jameis (Winston) and Marcus Mariota went one and two. People always say they aren’t going to draft a quarterback yet. I got to get a quarterback because it’s such a quarterback-driven league. “

The excitement around Neal has risen in the draft before leading up to the day while Hutchinson has been a favorite since he announced he was going to go pro. And the reason for that, Wingo said, was because “nobody knows anything this year.”

“They’re all terrified. This draft is a really good deep draft. There are good players because of the COVID years, you know, fifth, fifth- and sixth-year seniors are getting those extra years. There are a lot of good players in this. There is not a lot of superstars in this draft, “Wingo said.

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He compared this year’s crop of talent to the 2013 event when three offensive linemen were taken in the first four selections.

“Nobody knows anything. This is going to be the worst year ever for mock drafts. The carnage is going to be real and spectacular. And we also have eight teams that don’t have a first-round pick. And right now, eight Teams that have multiple first-round picks, that never happened before. I don’t think all eight teams will use multiple first-round picks. The most we have ever had is six, “he said.

Trey Wingo is the chief trends officer for Caesars.

Trey Wingo is the chief trends officer for Caesars.
(Caesars)

“You combine that with no superstar pick, real uncertainty,” Wingo added, even when the Cleveland Browns picked Myles Garrett No. 1 in 2017 everyone knew he was going to be the guy.

The Jaguars will be on the clock Thursday night at 8 ET.

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The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain and the Jaguars could end up taking anybody. Last year, the team drafted Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick.

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