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Living the Dream: Behind the Scenes with NFL Network Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah


It's just past 8 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and Daniel Jeremiah — surprise, surprise — is watching film.

Jeremiah sits inside a green room at NFL Network's Inglewood headquarters, chatting on his phone with an NFL connection while also going through the USC-Oregon game from November.

The 46-year-old is prepping for an in-studio appearance later in the morning for USC's Pro Day, which will feature prized quarterback prospect Caleb Williams.

Jeremiah, the lead draft analyst for NFL Network, is the one fans want to hear from.

So, he sips a coffee and gets in a few last-minute clips as he avoids pondering just how many hours of film he watches leading up to the draft.

"I try not to do that or else I think I'd be depressed," Jeremiah says with a laugh.

The humorous thing about Jeremiah's statement is that he is anything but.


A former scout with the Ravens, Browns and Eagles, Jeremiah has now been on the media side of things for a dozen years and is one of the most respected voices surrounding the league's annual tentpole event.

He caps his annual report tally at 400 prospects, a number Jeremiah notes is higher than recent years because of advancements in technology and speed.

And whether you listen to Jeremiah on one of his marathon pre-draft conference calls or during live draft coverage each April, you get the same person each time.

Jeremiah is smooth, polished and simply full of information about players the casual fan might have only heard of once.

"It's an unbelievable amount of work that he has to take on when it relates to him being the face of the network for the draft," said Bucky Brooks, Jeremiah's colleague at NFL Network. "That comes with a lot of responsibility and you have to know so much about the players in the draft, so much about each team and their needs.

"You can't mail it in because you'll be exposed," Brooks added. "The fact that he's so diligent in his preparation, it speaks volumes to who he is."


Back in the green room, Jeremiah closes his laptop and chats with a few producers about the upcoming rundown for USC's Pro Day.

Jeremiah will be in studio alongside Rhett Lewis and Brooks while reporter Steve Wyche is on scene at the Trojans' campus.

Jeremiah throws a suit on before he heads to hair and makeup, not taking himself too seriously along the way. He jokes that he'll go from a 'C to a C+' after getting prepped for the set.

And while it's clear that Jeremiah takes his work very serious (even if he's able to laugh at himself along the way), he's the type that enjoys the journey rather than the destination.

Put another way, he's more than happy to grind the tape for months on end so that he can come across so well at the draft.

Even if the draft itself feels like an imperfect science that nobody really has any control over.

"I think you learn to just have pride in the process to get to where I get," Jeremiah said. "Whether it ends up being right or wrong, sometimes that's out of your control. It's incredibly difficult but it's more you're confident in the work you put in and your process.

"I say, 'Hey, I hope this guy goes to a great place and has a chance to be successful.' If it doesn't happen, I feel good about the way I got there," Jeremiah continued. "Even the guys you might not have good grades on or have questions about, I'll never be disappointed to see somebody have success.

"I'm not watching it saying, 'Oh, I hope he throws an interception because I didn't give him a good grade.' Phil Savage is one of my mentors and he always said the job is to say what you see," Jeremiah added. "That's pretty much it. It's simple, really."


In some ways, Jeremiah is doing the same thing he was 15 or 20 years ago, just in a much more public setting.

Jeremiah is asked what his career goal was back in the day. He ends up describing exactly what he is doing now.

"I loved the draft," Jeremiah said. "My dream would have been in broadcasting — that's what I studied and wanted to do — so having something to do with the draft would have been my perfect world. Took a weird path to get there."

A former quarterback at Appalachian State, Jeremiah hurt his knee in 1998 during spring ball.

He had made some prior connections in broadcasting, including with Jay Rothman, who was then a producer with ESPN.

"I got a FedEx package in college from ESPN and it was all of their research notes for the draft," Jeremiah said. "I thought that was pretty cool and it opened up some avenues for me."

Jeremiah eventually helped answer the late Chris Mortensen's phone during the draft. And legendary ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. sent Jeremiah his draft guide each year to better help him prepare.

Jeremiah latched on with Sunday Night Football as a spotter and producer but yearned for on-air responsibilities.

Those roles would have to wait, however, after a chance meeting careened his career path into scouting.

Jeremiah had bumped into T.J. McCreight, a Ravens scout who was also the college roommate of Jeremiah's brother.

"He asked if I would ever be interested in scouting," Jeremiah said. "I had never thought about that side of it. I said, 'Well, yeah, sure.'"

Spend a day with Chargers radio analyst Daniel Jeremiah in his role as the Lead Draft Analyst at NFL Network in the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft

Jeremiah spent four years with the Ravens — working alongside current Chargers General Manager Joe Hortiz — before getting a promotion and heading to the Browns.

But that run lasted just two seasons as Cleveland's scouting staff was let go after a poor season.

With 18 months left on his contract, Jeremiah pivoted back to his media personality.

"Mort' told me that if I wanted to do something on the media side that I should get a Twitter account," Jeremiah recalled. "I didn't even know what Twitter was, this was like 2009.

"I did that and he promoted it and got me a lot of attention," Jeremiah added.

Jeremiah's journey had a few more twists, however, he was hired by the Eagles as a scout in 2010.

Yet the pull from broadcasting seemingly came out of nowhere as Jeremiah's agent reached out in the fall of 2011 with interest from both NFL Network and ESPN.

Jeremiah stayed on with Philadelphia through the 2012 draft. But after a heartfelt chat with Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman, Jeremiah made the jump over to NFL Network.


He spent six-plus years as the network's No. 2 analyst before Mike Mayock was hired by the Raiders, elevating Jeremiah into the lead chair.

"It was a weird way," Jeremiah said. "Everyone always asks me, 'How do you get into this?' I don't know if there's an answer to that question because I took such an off route. Everyone has their own path there."

Jeremiah is now fully immersed in his very full-time job. While the draft occurs each spring, Jeremiah begins his scouting process each summer.

He picks up the pace as the fall rolls along, with late October serving as a key checkpoint.

"I try to do about 40 or 50 names over the summer, the top 40 or so names," Jeremiah said. "I always kind of joke that once we get to Halloween then it's, 'Oh crap, I better get started here.'

"You've gotten through the cupcakes and now there is more meaty tape to jump into," Jeremiah added. "And then the next holiday is Thanksgiving, so from Thanksgiving to the junior declare date in January, it's a sprint."

His efforts might double as the NFL Scouting Combine approaches. With 300-plus prospects in Indianapolis each year, Jeremiah makes it a point to have watched each player at least once.

"I kind of refer to it like painting where you have to have the base coat done and that takes a long time," Jeremiah said.


Back on set at NFL Network, Jeremiah has obviously watched Williams more than once.

Jeremiah makes it look effortless as he takes viewers through Williams' throwing session while also helping set up Brooks and Lewis through a seamless segment.

"He's one of the most genuine and good guys that I've been around in terms of that he really takes care if the people that work with him," Brooks said. "He supports them in a bunch if different ways outside of just the job.

"When you've been around someone like him as long as I have, you appreciate their genuine nature," Brooks added. "You want to work with guys who are making sure everyone is a part of the success. With DJ, it's about the team and not about him."

One reason Jeremiah appears flawless on TV? He's refined his on-set approach mirrors that of his autumn role as the Chargers radio analyst.

Jeremiah keeps a color-coded Excel sheet handy on his laptop at all times so that his writeups and rankings are easily accessible. And instead of having sheets of paper on each team, he created a flip card that has pertinent info on all 32 teams.

"You can't be on a live set flipping through pages. It's not doable," Jeremiah said.

"It's not as much what you say or how you present yourself, it's how [fast] you have your information," Jeremiah later says while snapping his fingers.


Soon after the coverage of USC's Pro Day wraps up, Jeremiah is back in the green room and immediately on the phone with a fellow NFL analyst.

A smile spreads across Jeremiah's face when he's asked about his favorite part of the gig.

"To me, it's like this morning," Jeremiah said. "You sit down and watch a player and then talk with buddies in the league, scouts. How do we stack this person versus that person? What do we like about this guy?"

And don't get it twisted. Even though Jeremiah may work for NFL Network, his friends include fellow analysts such as The Athletic's Dane Brugler, Dan Orvlosky of ESPN and others.

"I'm friends with all of them," Jeremiah said. "I talk to Dane all the time and I love when I get to visit with Mel, who has been great to me since I was a teenager. I'm close to Todd McShay.

"I think people would think the same thing about scouting where it's like, 'Oh, you're the scout with the Ravens so you must hate the scouts with the Steelers.' But no, some of those guys are my best friends," Jeremiah continued. "You're doing the same thing and you respect each other and the work that you do.

"Even the YouTube scouts and Twitter scouts, it's great," Jeremiah added. "Whatever draws more eyeballs to all of us. I hope there's more of them and I hope they all do great because it benefits everyone."

Jeremiah has a few minutes to kill before doing some promo reads. As he grabs another coffee, his most-recent mock draft scrolls across the bottom of a nearby TV tuned to NFL Network.

Earlier that morning, Jeremiah explained the evolution of his feelings on them.

"I used to look at them as a necessary evil," Jeremiah said. "When I first started the media stuff in 2012, it was vicious. People are vicious about their reactions. Then I just didn't look at it.

"Now it's at a point where I'm older and wiser and more mature and I enjoy reading the comments because I get a laugh out of some of them," Jeremiah continued.

"They are very popular but are also helpful for me because I go through different scenarios where it can change everything," Jeremiah added. "It's about being ready for the draft while on set. You can say, 'OK, I've actually played this scenario out.'"

And like clockwork, Jeremiah hears from buddies and colleagues around the league each time he posts a new one.

"I talked to a general manager about it and he said, 'My fanbase is mad about a pick that you made! I didn't even make the pick.' But it's a content machine and they understand it," Jeremiah quipped.


Jeremiah wraps up his promo reads and gets ready for a lengthy commute home to San Diego.

He doesn't come up to NFL Network's headquarters often, preferring to work from home as much as possible to maximize his family time.

A husband and father of four, Jeremiah has made it clear that having a work-life balance is at the top of his priority list.

"He's been able to crack the code. He came to this side and crushes it while still being a family man," Brooks said. "To me, that his most admirable trait as he made the transition from being a scout to now being a media celebrity."

Jeremiah is only a month or so away from getting some much-needed relaxation.

"The joke around here is after the draft I'm a ghost. You're not going to see me for a little bit," Jeremiah said. "My kids are usually still in school so I'm on staycation, just vacation.

"It's a good place to be," Jeremiah said. "I get to play a little more golf and somehow I get worse at it. Get to shoot a few more jump shots in the driveway."

Until then, however, it is Jeremiah's time to shine as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches.

It's not a bad job if you can get it.

"I'm just incredibly thankful and grateful because, really, there's only two networks that get the draft coverage," Jeremiah said. "And there's only two guys that get to be kind of the front man for their respective drafts. It's a huge blessing and huge opportunity.

"I don't think there's a better job for me," Jeremiah continued.

"And I'm aware of it. I have buddies in the league, they give me a hard time about that," Jeremiah later added. "They're like, 'You haven't lost a game in 12 years.' And I'm like, 'I know, it's pretty nice.' It's a good gig."

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