So…how is this virtual NFL Draft supposed to work?

Here’s the announcement:

And here’s the summary:

The 2020 NFL Draft, set for April 23-25, will look like none in the history of the league. There will be no handshakes, no hugs. No post-pick interviews. No squeezing small caps over fly haircuts.

Only coaches and general managers and the internet.

So, how’s it going to work? Here are a few of the measures that the NFL is taking to make sure the draft goes smoothly:

To be extra clear, the NFL will hold a 32-team conference call throughout the draft for general managers using a landline. If internet issues occur, GMs can then announce their picks over the phone. GMs also have the option to email their selections.

In addition, if two teams are negotiating a trade, the league will allow time to complete potential deals.

In terms of location, those involved are required to be isolated, meaning each will connect from their own location – presumably their homes.

This sounds like a somewhat smooth, 2020 online process – but of course, coaches and general managers remain concerned about its feasibility.

In fact, there is real concern about the actual spread of COVID-19 during the draft.

The need for IT personnel, of course, is because front offices are concerned with having tech issues during the draft, as explained by NFL reporter Tom Pelissero.

“For most teams, the general manager’s house is going to be the central hub of the draft operation, so a lot of those GMs that I’ve spoken to have one main question: is all of this technology going to work?

As Pelissero explains, the NFL is individually working with teams to determine their technological needs before the NFL Draft and will also hold a mock draft with all 32 clubs to test the process.

Coaches and general managers have also expressed concerns regarding privacy and security.

Said Baltimore Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh:

“Hopefully we’ll be OK. I really wouldn’t want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that.”

However, it seems the NFL is ready to pull out all the stops in order to make sure the draft goes smooth.

The league even considered implementing timeouts into the draft.

Moving forward, the NFL is listening to the concerns of Harbaugh and others, as profiled by ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

 

Despite the debate as to whether this draft can actually work, one good thing that is coming from it is a three-day fundraiser, aimed at assisting charities that are fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.