Leading into the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s lead college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit will headline a new ESPN series featuring candid conversations between the five-time Emmy Award-winner and six of the highest-rated quarterbacks in this year’s class.

  • QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit, premiering on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, will delve into the journeys of Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trey Lance (North Dakota State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Mac Jones (Alabama), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Zach Wilson (BYU), as Herbstreit, who covered the players extensively during their college careers, prompts each of the quarterbacks to open up about their lives, both on-and-off the field, and mindset leading into the 2021 NFL Draft (April 29 – May 1), a pinnacle event in their playing careers.
  • The seven-episode QB21 series will premiere across four consecutive days, beginning Saturday, April 17, with three episodes on ESPN featuring Lawrence (12:30 p.m. ET), Jones (3 p.m.) and Fields (3:30 p.m.).
  • Episodes with Trask (7 p.m.) and Lance (7:30 p.m.) debut Monday, April 19, and with Wilson (9 p.m.) on Tuesday, April 20, all on ESPN2.
  • A compilation program featuring all six quarterbacks will air on Sunday, April 18 (2 p.m.) on ABC.
  • Each episode will re-air multiple times in the coming weeks, including encores on SEC Network for Jones and Trask, and ACC Network for Lawrence.
  • Among the themes for each episode of QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit:
    • Justin Fields: Leadership has been an inherent trait for Fields, a characteristic his teammates hold in high regard, which Herbstreit has witnessed first-hand. The fellow Ohio State quarterbacks discuss Fields’ approach and how his college career, one that began in his home state and ended with a Big Ten Championship and CFP National Championship appearance, have prepared him for the NFL.
    • Mac Jones: Preparation has been fuel for Jones’ success at Alabama, honing his mental and physical skills as a two-year backup to Heisman Trophy finalist Tua Tagovailoa for two seasons. Jones discusses how that foundation and approach resulted in him becoming a National Championship quarterback for the Crimson Tide this past season.
    • Trey Lance: The FCS star has a mantra he lives by: ‘Know Your Worth.’ Learn how that way of life has guided him throughout his college career and into the NFL Draft process.
    • Trevor Lawrence: No stranger to the spotlight, Lawrence has been anointed a prodigy quarterback when he was 14 years old. Yet, he has continued to live up to expectations at every level. Now, he is dealing with his greatest challenge yet, as the anticipated No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
    • Kyle Trask: A high school backup turned multi-year starter for the Florida Gators, Trask has learned that nothing is given and everything is proven. His journey is one that has set him up for NFL success.
    • Zach Wilson: A multi-skilled quarterback, Wilson uses his instincts and improvisational approach while leading his team. He dives into this unique aspect of the game and how it translates to his future.
  • In addition to the conversation with Herbstreit, Pro Football Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Steve Young will make appearances during the Trask and Wilson episodes, respectively.
  • Former NFL Rookie of the Year and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George will appear in Justin Fields’ episodes.
  • QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit adds to an already wide array of NFL Draft programming across ESPN networks, with senior NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay leading a number of specials including more mock drafts (SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: Kiper 4.0 on April 13 and SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: Mel and Todd’s Dueling Mock Draft on April 20) and SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: You’ve Got Mel and Todd on Thursday, April 15.
  • Additional NFL Draft programming includes:
    • Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL featuring Florida TE Kyle Pitts, Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Penn State LB Micah Parsons and South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn:
    • NFL Matchup on Wednesday, April 21 and Tuesday, April 27
    • SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: QB Class of 2021 on Monday, April 26
    • SportsCenter Special Presented by IBM: NFL Nation Mock Draft on Tuesday, April 27
  • Additionally, ESPN+ has multiple NFL Draft programming specials available now and forthcoming, including more mock drafts, quarterback specials and in-depth looks at team needs. More details on those specials will be released soon.

What they’re saying:

  • ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit: “When I thought about the approach for this series, my goal was to dive into the personal aspect of these six NFL prospects: how they’re wired, what makes them tick, and the personal challenges that they’ve had to deal with as an athlete. So each conversation is all encompassing; about trying to get to know them from the very beginning, as early as we could go back, all the way to where they are now, on the cusp of their lives changing.”
  • Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production: “Working with Kirk, we developed a show concept early in the NFL Draft process, based around this year’s quarterback class. Kirk has a strong familiarity with the prospects and was passionate about providing the QBs a platform where they could share who they are as people. We immediately pursued the show, knowing it would add to an already robust NFL Draft portfolio, yet QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit doesn’t happen without Justin, Mac, Trey, Trevor, Kyle, and Zach entrusting Kirk and our entire features unit.  We thank each of them and are eager to showcase a different side of their story leading into the NFL Draft.”