The NFL Draft will take place this month, though it will look nothing like it has ever looked before. With Americans isolated in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, all involved parties will be participating from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Seems like a nice and easy solution, right? Well, even the simplest solutions can have complications these days.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, some coaches and executives are concerned with having team IT personnel enter their homes, out of fear of exposing their home to the virus. Likewise, IT employees in quarantine are not eager to enter the homes of coaches and executives.
A concern has emerged in recent days: There are certain coaches and front-office staffers reluctant to have their IT employees in their homes for fear of the virus spreading, and vice versa; some IT employees are concerned about going into other homes to equip them for the draft.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 8, 2020
Such concerns go against commissioner Roger Goodell’s edict that NFL personnel are not allowed to criticize the draft taking place during a pandemic and numerous stay-at-home orders and advisories around the country. But for now, those concerns remain anonymous, so Roger can’t quite know which coaches and executives to punish for speaking out.
Earlier this week, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed serious concerns about his team’s system being hacked.
And shortly after Goodell’s memo banned NFL employees from being critical of the draft taking place, Peter King reported that many coaches and executives were angry with Goodell.
The issues surrounding this year’s draft have been a hot-button topic after the NFL decided not to postpone the draft to give teams more time to evaluate prospects. The NFL’s general manager subcommittee unanimously recommended to Goodell to push back the start of the draft, Schefter and fellow ESPN NFL insider Dianna Russini reported late last month.
Earlier this week, it was Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert who reportedly proposed that each team receive three more picks in this year’s draft. With no college pro days and in-person meetings, NFL teams have been reduced to interviewing prospects virtually. When asked about the effectiveness of these meetings, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa recently said that it can be “very difficult” when trying to answer questions.
“Some of the content that the coaches try to teach you or try to show you, you can’t really see it as good sometimes,” Tagovailoa told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
Clearly, the NFL hopes to carry on with business as usual, but the realities of life in America at the moment are making that quite difficult.
The draft is currently slated to start on Thursday, April 23.