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NFL Network not covering the Tyreek Hill story an epic failure

NFL Network embarrassed its hard-working employees by not mentioning the Tyreek Hill situation during its draft coverage Thursday night.

One of the biggest stories in sports broke two hours before the first round began at 8 p.m. — and NFL Network didn’t mention it. The CBS affiliate in Kansas City had a report detailing an audio tape that allegedly caught Hill saying awful things about his son and his wife.

There is a real feeling that Hill, a Pro Bowler and one of the NFL’s most impactful players, may never play in the league again. The situation, therefore, deserves some discussion if a network expects to be fully trusted. NFLN never found the time.

ESPN, meanwhile, wasn’t perfect, but did better. Prior to the prime-time coverage at 8 p.m. — and before the existence of the tape surfaced — Sam Ponder conducted an interview with commissioner Roger Goodell. She asked about Hill, who had been under investigation for domestic abuse of his son (though Wednesday authorities declined to charge him) and the Robert Kraft situation, allowing Goodell to answer robotically and awkwardly, while saying little.

ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen later provided some more information. ESPN apparently forgot about it, though, once the draft (in which the Chiefs didn’t have a first-round pick) started.

It would have been fair for ABC’s Robin Roberts to ask her special guest and Hill’s teammate, Patrick Mahomes, about the situation during one of the segments on which he appeared during the network broadcast.

The NFL Network, ESPN and ABC all mentioned that Titans first-round pick Jeffery Simmons had struck a woman as a teenager before he enrolled at Mississippi State.

Then, on all the networks, everyone said Simmons was a great guy. He may be, but you likely wouldn’t have heard much, if the analysts had found out otherwise.

Hill’s alleged words and actions are reprehensible. You wouldn’t know it, however, if you were watching the NFL Network all night or ABC and ESPN in prime time. It is as if he had already disappeared.

Grades: We were watching three feeds at once so, as coaches like to say, we have to watch the film. But here are some quick judgments:

ESPN’s main analyst team at the big table — Mel Kiper Jr., Booger McFarland and Louis Riddick Jr. — was the right mix. On NFLN, draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah was fine, in for Mike Mayock, though nothing big stuck out. NFLN’s Kurt Warner and Steve Smith are consistently good on air.

The problem with all the analysts is that basically every player is going to the Pro Bowl, if not Canton. A little more critical analysis would elevate all the praise.

Booger McFarland
Booger McFarlandAP

Also, you would think someone would have gone hard at the Giants’ pick of Daniel Jones. Riddick did best by saying he would’ve taken Dwayne Haskins. But, these type of opportunities is what makes the draft the draft over the years.

Rockin’ New Year coverage: The ABC coverage of the NFL draft was for people who don’t really like the draft.

Roberts hosted in the role as Ryan Seacrest. She was the master of the ceremonies, putting a friendly face on the coverage.

As The Post reported months ago, Disney may make a run to add some NFL games and a Super Bowl for ABC, so it seems willing to do anything to gain favor. ESPN2 even ran “Good Morning Football”, NFL Network’s signature morning show, the past two days.

As for the coverage, the legendary College GameDay crew was solid enough. In the end, I’m not sure how many people watching the draft want to hear Roberts interview Taylor Swift after the Giants’ surprise pick of Jones.

The whole production probably was for an audience of one, anyway — and Goodell probably liked it.

Comedy award: ESPN showed a bar in Las Vegas, the future home of the Raiders, prior to their pick. There were like 10 people there. Funny stuff. … NFLN’s Rich Eisen crankily complained how loud the band was, drowning out their commentary. That was good.

Get on with it: Terrible job not having the first pick until 8:24 p.m. It is just disrespectful to schedule the draft to begin at 8 and make fans wait nearly half an hour before first pick. Arizona took the first 10 minutes, which might have been for dramatic reasons, but they had months to decide who they wanted.

It was like waiting for Jim Grey to ask LeBron James where he was taking his talents. Let’s go!

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