NFL Draft To Be “Fully Virtual”

On Monday, the NFL informed clubs that this year’s draft will be conducted with a “fully virtual format.” The memo from commissioner Roger Goodell lays out some of the basics for what will be the most unique NFL Draft in league history.

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The draft, which is still set to commence on April 23rd through April 25th, will go on with club personnel operating separately from their homes. Early on, there was some thought to executives gathering in their respective war rooms, but that possibility has been ruled out with more and more shelter-in-place orders throughout the United States.

We have made this decision for several reasons,” the memo states. “All clubs will not have access to their facilities, which is contrary to the fundamental equity principle that all clubs operate in a consistent and fair way. Moreover, we want all NFL personnel to comply with the government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices. Our staff will carry out its responsibilities in the same way, operating in separate locations outside of our offices.”

Meanwhile, this year’s draft evaluation process is tricky, especially when it comes to prospects with past medical trouble. Coaches, GMs, and other executives will be flying blind when it comes to many players, though some have gone through voluntary exams conducted by the league. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, for example, had a recheck recently and reportedly passed with flying colors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “NFL Draft To Be “Fully Virtual”

  1. formerdraftpick

    I hope that they make everyone avatars that make them look like the peeps from Minecraft.

  2. DarkSide830

    someday we’ll have stories about how miscommunications and tech issues during the process changed the league.

    • jkoms57

      I find it more likely that some of these operations become permanent due to convenience

      • crosseyedlemon

        Possibly, but I think we all know the NFL will choose greed over convenience every time.

  3. phillyballers

    Wonder if they need to add any time for teams Day 1 and 2 picks. I know we’ve had some teams mess up and go over the time limit without Zoom or Microsoft Team or Skype issues.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I believe they have some contingencies in place for tech glitches like you’ve mentioned. That will provide teams with some time flexibility if they require it.

    • phillyballers

      He’s probably quarantining with his son. And several of the dallas cowboy cheerleaders.

    • crosseyedlemon

      This is actually the easiest part of the plan and the XFL had no problems conducting a similar style draft (albeit with few teams involved). I think the cluster muck starts when they try to push an abbreviated training camp.

  4. whipmaster

    It is kind of amusing that the draft being held remotely via phone/network and without benefit of “pro days” is seen by some as unusual and requiring some extra planning. That is the way the NFL and NBA drafts were done before the leagues decided to turn the draft into a show and its own industry. If any team claims it will be more of a challenge they are just creating an excuse before hand for doing a poor job of selecting players.

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