Word is official: The 2020 NFL Draft will take place completely virtually.
According to a memo obtained from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the 2020 NFL Draft will be completely virtual as every NFL team has been instructed to prepare their 2020 draft’s entirely outside of their facilities. They have been advised to separate club personnel in separate locations and communicate with one another either by phone or Internet.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the shut down of all non-essential businesses and stay-at-home orders are in place in most areas of the country until June, including each of the 31 NFL cities represented.
That means all in-person meetings will have to be virtual. The draft selection process will be completely virtual and aired on live television in a new way then we’ve all become accustomed to. How that will all look, however, is still unknown.
There were mixed news stories about the involvement of EA Sports that stemmed as far as the owner of the Madden video game franchise created virtual interactions between first-round picks and Goodell, however, that was later spoken as untrue.
Still, that means that all 256 athletes who are drafted will now do so in an unusual circumstance. Phone calls made when they’re drafted will be done as usual but those groups of people will also be from separate phones. Virtual meetings will take place, surely, but will be on massive FaceTime, Skype or Zoom conferences that we’ve all become increasingly accustomed to over the past month.
Darnay Holmes, Joshua Kelley, Devin Asiasi and JJ Molson will likely hear their names called at some point, via one of these virtual platforms and will be etched into NFL history as part of the first NFL draft class in the modern era to be selected in a completely virtual draft.
We’ll see how this affects all involved from the NFL teams and franchises to the players drafted and their families but at this time, at least we still know we have the draft on April 23 and will still be able to see, in some capacity, our favorite UCLA Bruins selected to the NFL.