NFL to hold practice remote draft Monday to prepare for real thing
The NFL will hold a practice remote draft Monday, three days before the real thing is done in the same way.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn on Friday did not provide details on the proceedings.
“We’re going to do a couple internal tests and trial runs here,” Quinn said in a Zoom meeting to preview the draft. “The league is having a mock draft, mock trial run on Monday that we’ll participate in.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered all team facilities closed in March and later required club personnel to conduct the draft from their homes. Because of the reliance on free-flowing communication, the league decided to stage a mock draft to ensure all goes smoothly next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The draft originally was scheduled for Las Vegas, but the NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. On April 6, Goodell instructed teams on how they should plan to make selections.
“After consulting with medical advisers, we cannot identify an alternative that is preferable from a medical or public health perspective, given the varying needs of clubs, the need properly to screen participants, and the unique risk factors that individual club employees may face,” he wrote.
Among the technologies needed for the actual draft are team web meetings and a web hookup with the league itself. There also will be phone lines for communicating with other teams for trades, which must be approved by the NFL central office.
Security will be paramount, considering the possibility of crossed communication lines that allow one club’s personnel to hear discussions of another team’s decision makers.
“I do have an official draft phone here in my office,” Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta said. “I have multiple screens. I have some backup generator and backup internet just in case things go down. I think we will be in really good shape. My setup is going to mirror what probably eight or nine of us in the organization have.”