An ESPN producer pledged to Sports Illustrated earlier this week that former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ contribution to the network’s NFL draft coverage tonight will be similar to his playing career: Lewis will be, if nothing else, incredibly well prepared.

“This guy was a film junkie as a player,” senior coordinating producer Seth Markman told SI.com’s Richard Deitsch earlier this week.

“I don’t care about Ray calling people around the league,” he said. “I want his opinion on guys as he watches tape. He has strong opinions on players in this draft, positive and negative. This will not be Ray mailing it in. You will not watch the draft and say this guy was unprepared. His take on [defensive players] Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, and C.J. Mosley will be huge. But he has strong opinions on [Texas A&M quarterback Johnny] Manziel, [Central Florida quarterback Blake] Bortles, [Fresno State quarterback Derek] Carr, and [Louisville quarterback Teddy] Bridgewater too.”

According to Deitsch’s article, Lewis was given 40 players to focus his attention on for the first night of the draft.

ESPN has more former NFL players on staff than they know what to do with, so Lewis’ draft-night assignment is another show of confidence in him from his new employers. Lewis was present on several studio shows since his retirement after the Ravens’ 2013 Super Bowl win, and grew into his role as an analyst on Monday Night Countdown as the season wore on.

And with Mosley a player the Ravens are constantly being connected to in the days before the draft, it will be interesting to hear Lewis’ assessment on the inside linebacker who could ultimately prove to be his heir in Baltimore.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

www.twitter.com/jonmeoli