2020 Virtual NFL Draft: 10 Things You Should Know

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the league devised an entirely new execution plan in order to comply with local and state physical distancing guidelines.

There hasn’t been much communicated to the public, however the goal remains to be able to safely distribute all 255 players among its 32 teams over the course of three days.

We are just over a week away from the Cincinnati Bengals officially being on the clock with the first overall pick in the draft, and here are a few things that you should know going into it:

  1. Due to all team facilities being closed, nearly every person involved in the draft will be working from home – this includes commissioner, Roger Goodell.
  2. All 32 teams will be connected through one video conference using a modified Microsoft Teams application, while members of the league office will have a separate broadband connection.
  3. Every team’s arrangement for who makes the final decision on each pick will be different, but final decision makers will have a form of secure connection with coaches, advisers, or other staffers as desired.
  4. There is no plan to provide extra time to teams making picks: There will be ten minutes between picks in the first round, seven minutes in the second round, five minutes in rounds 3-6, and four minutes in round 7.
  5. Nothing has been confirmed yet regarding if the league will allow a late submission if a team misses their pick – normally if a team misses their pick, then the next team is eligible and can jump ahead.
  6. There will be a combined broadcast between the NFL Network and ESPN that will originate from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, CT – Trey Wingo will be the studio host on all three nights, with analysts from both networks contributing from home.
  7. Although this year’s draft was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, it will have to wait until 2022 to be the host city, as the 2021 NFL Draft will take place in Cleveland.
  8. The NFL is calling this a “Draft-a-Thon” because it will pay tribute to healthcare workers through advocacy for six primary charities: the American Red Cross, the CDC’s Combat Coronavirus Campaign, Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, Meals on Wheels’ COVID-19 Response Fund, the Salvation Army and the United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund
  9. The league shipped out video equipment to 58 prospects for interview opportunities, including top prospects Joe Burrow and Chase Young – Commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing at least the first round from his home in New York.
  10. Following the draft, the league announced there will be a virtual off-season that will cover rules for players training at home, and eventually participating in video conferences with coaches, starting April 20th.

Here is the full schedule:

  • Round 1 on Thursday, April 23, from 5 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Rounds 2-3 on Friday, April 24, from 4 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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