NFL Announces First Ever Virtual Draft
Photo Courtesy: NFL
By: Ryan Sandy
The 2020 NFL Draft is going virtual for the first time in its history. According to the NFL, the league made this decision after closing team facilities last month due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Teams will now be forced to draft via an online system, and talk with their coaching and personal staff on the phone. The teams are asked not to gather at any team member's house, but stay in their own homes and use their technology to communicate. The NFL is taking the social distancing laws serious but wants to keep moving forward in their offseason.
The NFL canceled team workouts and draft visits, so teams have been holding phone and video call interviews with the prospects as well as reviewing the college game tape. The players can also send private workout videos to teams for them to evaluate. Teams can still request medical records for the players injured at the end of the season to ensure they have fully recovered before being drafted.
Some NFL personnel like Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh expressed his thoughts on the draft going virtual saying, “Yeah, big concern.” Harbaugh went on to talk about how some classrooms have had their online meetings hacked and is afraid of that happening to the NFL.
The NFL is still working out details for the draft, but have asked all teams concerns to be sent to them so they can help make the process as smooth as possible.
The players who could potentially hear their named called will also be apart of the virtual draft on opening night to share the moment with their teams and family.
The draft's first round will be televised on Thursday, April 23rd, at 8.p.m. The following 6 rounds will be held on Friday, April 24th, and Saturday, April 25th.