The NFL’s trial run of the virtual drafting system did not go as planned yesterday
Yesterday, the NFL’s 32 teams participated in a mock virtual draft to prepare for the actual draft which is scheduled to begin on Thursday. Reports came out after the event saying that the draft did not go exactly as planned.
Adam Schefter tweeted that a draft participant texted him saying, “… Mock draft today already technical glitch w Cincinnatis 1st pick!!! Brutal.” The tweet came out just 24 minutes after the mock draft began. Coaches and GMs told ESPN’s Dianna Russini there were issues with bandwidth and communication. The New York Post also said that one GM had a problem forgetting to hit the mute button.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter later went into detail about the issues that occurred during the mock draft for Cincinnati. According to his sources, the Bengals did not do anything wrong to cause the technical issue. However, the source did go on to say that the error resulted in a two-and-a-half-minute long delay in the drafting process.
It wasn’t an entire disaster though. After a rocky start, things smoothed themselves out. One head coach texted Russini, “… After the start, its running smoothly. Its quiet actually on the call…”
The NFL Draft “dress rehearsal” was held at 1:00 PM EST yesterday. ESPN reported that teams were encouraged to select former greats rather than current prospects so that nobody would reveal their draft strategy. The simulations were run so that teams will be prepared for the real virtual drafting process later this week.
On April 6th, Roger Goodell announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed with a fully virtual format. This news came after the draft had originally been scheduled to take place from April 23rd to April 25th in Las Vegas. The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM EST on April 23rd.