The coronavirus pandemic has created another obstacle for the NFL as it relates to the 2020 NFL Draft, which has not been postponed and will be conducted virtually. Over the past several days, a concern has grown amongst certain certain coaches and other NFL staff members about IT employees entering their homes for fear of spreading the virus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Certain IT employees are also concerned about entering the homes of NFL coaches and staff members. NFL coaches and front office members have been working remotely from home for the last several weeks after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell prohibited them from being able to go to their facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
There’s also been questions regarding the execution of the first-ever remote draft, as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh recently expressed his concern over the possibility of an all-virtual draft getting “hacked.” In response to this, the league plans to have a 32-team “mock draft” to iron out any issues before the actual draft kicks off later this month.
The draft is currently slated to start on Thursday, April 23.