There is a little doubt that the 2020 NFL draft is going to appear much different than anything we have seen in a long time. With personnel not permitted to be a team facilities, all members of each franchise’s draft team will be connecting over the Internet in order to continue with the draft as scheduled. With the exact procedure being something which has never been attempted before, the NFL has decided to run a mock draft in order to identify any problems as well as give teams some peace of mind as to how the process will work. NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport offered some explanation as to how teams will connect for both their mock draft, as well as the real thing which begins on Thursday, April 23, 2000.
Next week, there will be a “mock draft” of all 32 teams, which is really just a systems test. Picks will be submitted via Microsoft Teams — with several other redundancies in case of error. At worst, teams can unmute themselves on a league-wide call and simply say their pick. https://t.co/gnpsZMUueo— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2020
This year‘s draft is going to be one of a kind across-the-board. Newly drafted players will not have the opportunity to walk out onto the stage donning a new hat and holding up a jersey as they shake hands or embrace the NFL commissioner. Instead, some of the players will have a video conference in order to have the moment they would have otherwise been awarded.
Of course, the draft will be different for the fans, but the changes in protocol will be experienced the least among those of us watching on television. With the news of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the first round selections from his basement in New York, it would have seemed much more appropriate had the word “mom’s” been inserted as it feels more like a fantasy football draft than selections made for players who could go on to earn millions of dollars.
Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the 2020 first-round draft picks from his basement in Bronxville, New York, per @peter_king.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 12, 2020
There’s no doubt the most concerning aspect of the NFL draft being conducted virtually is the ability of teams to make their selections. As long as this process can be done thoroughly and accurately, the 2020 NFL draft should be considered a success. By doing test run before the actual event, the NFL is hoping for a virtual triumph rather than a technological catastrophe. If everything does go wrong on the opening night of the draft, at least it will not affect the Steelers as they are not scheduled to make a selection until day two.
One thing which may be highly entertaining is if a team reaches for a player, look for their fan base to instantly attribute the pick to a technological error. Get ready, Cleveland.