When the NFL revealed that the 2020 NFL Draft will continue despite the COVID-19 outbreak, there were immediate questions about how the picks would be selected. Commissioner Roger Goodell has now provided some information in a memo to all 32 teams. He revealed that the upcoming draft will be "fully virtual" and that coaches and general managers will be sequestered in their respective homes.
Goodell revealed in his memo that he had previously discussed this situation with decision-makers. This was an expected outcome, but there are still some important rules that teams must follow. For example, team personnel are not allowed to be with each other during the NFL Draft. The coach and GM can't make their picks together from one home and must instead remain in self-quarantine.
Now official: NFL now has informed teams it will do a virtual draft this year. GMs and HCs now will be drafting from their homes. pic.twitter.com/t2mbdjWvVZ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 6, 2020
"Because of these circumstances, Clubs have been advised to prepare to conduct the 2020 Draft entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format, with club personnel in separate locations and able to communicate with one another and Draft headquarters by phone or internet," Goodell said in the memo. "We have reviewed this matter in the past few days with the Competition Committee and CEC, and this will confirm that Clubs will conduct their Draft operations remotely, with club personnel located separately in their homes."
As Goodell continued to explain, this decision was made in order to continue following government directives and to model "safe and appropriate health practices." The NFL offices will remain closed while the organization's employees will also work from their own separate homes. The league offices shut down on March 13 while the team facilities followed suit on March 26. Employees have since been working from home.
Several NFL insiders posted the memo on Twitter and provided a more basic explanation. Essentially, they compared the fully virtual NFL Draft as something similar to a fantasy football draft. Although this explanation did lead to some fans expressing concern that their favorite team's GM would lose his internet connection while on the clock and would botch the pick.0comments
The reactions to this news were mixed as many fans made jokes about how the Cleveland Browns or New York Giants would "mess up" the process. Others, however, were simply fascinated with the prospects. They can't wait to tune in to the televised draft and see how the league handles the entertainment aspect of the event.
The NFL Draft is currently scheduled for April 23-25. Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to be the first player selected, ultimately landing with the Cincinnati Bengals. However, Ohio State defender Chase Young will also be in contention for this top spot.