By Jair Ramirez
After a month and a half without any sports, the NFL Draft will take place Apr. 23-25. But it won’t be your typical NFL draft due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year the NFL will be having a virtual draft.
The NFL Draft was supposed to take place in Las Vegas. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed all 32 NFL teams that the 2020 NFL Draft would proceed in a fully virtual format.
The league is trying to do everything to stop the spread of the coronavirus and has closed all of the teams facilities indefinitely, teams were warned in advance to prepare to have a draft outside their facilities.
“We want all NFL personnel to comply with 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,” said Goodell in a memo sent out to all 32 teams.
This means the coaches and team personnel will be in separate locations and will communicate using the phone and the internet to communicate from their homes.
The NFL has enlisted the top 58 prospects to participate in a virtual draft. Members of the NFL’s information technology staff sent technology kits to the prospects, the kits include cameras, lights and 32 caps of all NFL teams.
Commissioner Goodell will announce the players selected in the first round of the draft from his basement at home.
The players will put on the cap of the team that selects them, then the song they would have played if they were walking up to the podium if the draft would have taken place will play, followed by a brief interview by ESPN.
ESPN, ABC and NFL Network will all televise and stream the draft live.
Teams were able to meet some players before facilities were closed and some met by video conference. But teams will have to rely on video highlights and combine stats more than usual as they did not have a chance to meet players and players won’t have a chance to sell themselves on a team since team facilities where they normally meet have been closed since Mar. 26.
It will be interesting to see a draft with no fans cheering for the players and booing commissioner Goodell. No need to worry fans will still have a chance via Twitter to virtually boo commissioner Goodell at the beginning of the draft.
Bud Light and the NFL are teaming up to keep the tradition going, for each #BooTheCommish sent through Apr. 25, Bud Light will donate $1 for the NFL Draft-a-Thon up to $500,000.
The commissioner will still be able to feel the love from the fans.