In an effort to prepare for the first-ever virtual 2020 NFL Draft, the league is going to hold a virtual mock draft with all 32 teams.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the NFL plans to hold a virtual mock draft to prepare for the real thing. Obviously, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the sports world, the NFL wasn’t going to be able to hold the draft in Las Vegas as it originally planned.
Next week, there will be a “mock draft” of all 32 teams, which is really just a systems test. Picks will be submitted via Microsoft Teams — with several other redundancies in case of error. At worst, teams can unmute themselves on a league-wide call and simply say their pick. https://t.co/gnpsZMUueo
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2020
The virtual mock draft will allow the NFL to test a number of their new processes. They need to make sure teams can get picks in on time using Microsoft Team. They need to make sure the teams have stable internet that will allow them to run the draft. The NFL needs to test its secure phone line for trades.
That way if anything doesn’t work the way it’s intended, they have time to make adjustments before April 23.
This systems test is a necessary step for the NFL to ensure that the draft runs smoothly. This is uncharted territory for the league during these strange times and there’s no doubt that a virtual draft is going to be difficult to pull off.
For the fans, the draft won’t have all the pomp and circumstance that it usually brings, but the virtual aspect provides an interesting twist. Let’s be honest, even with the dry run that Rapoport is reporting, there’s still a chance that technical difficulties will disrupt the event at some point.
Regardless, the 2020 NFL Draft will give sports fans something to do for three nights in late April.