NFL invites top prospects to “attend” the draft remotely

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The NFL draft in the year of social distancing will not feature players walking across the stage to shake hands with Roger Goodell. But the draft will still be a TV show, and the players will still be a part of it.

NFL Executive VP of Football Operations Troy Vincent sent a letter to the top 50 or so prospects in this year’s draft, asking them to be ready to join the draft via video conference from their homes.

“Our plan is to connect you with NFL fans watching the Draft live from around the world, directly from your home,” Vincent wrote to the players, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.

Video conferencing will allow drafted players to appear on the NFL Network and ESPN broadcasts of the draft, and reaction shots from players’ homes will replace the shots of the players being welcomed to the NFL by Goodell. The NFL could even send the prospects hats from all 32 NFL teams and ask them to put on the hat of the team that drafts them.

The draft doesn’t need to be held in an arena with thousands of fans to be a compelling TV event. This year’s will be a very different draft, but for the fans at home, the draft will still be a good show.

18 responses to “NFL invites top prospects to “attend” the draft remotely

  1. T’ll be interesting to see if Trevon Diggs actually wears the hat of the team that drafts him.

  2. I don’t know of any “arena” that holds “millions” of fans. Never saw a NFL draft being held in a “arena.” Stadium in Dallas, yes. The draft from Vegas would have had about 600 thousand fans outside much like in Nashville last year. The “millions” will be watching on TV.

    I have never liked the “green-room” scene at the draft and it won’t be missed. The players walking out and being expected to hug Goodell were always cringe moments that I am happy to be without. I do hope that the commish will still announce the picks from a NFL podium. That is just the way it should be.

    The NFL sending 32 hats to each player is another corny idea by MDS, but I am confident the producers at ESPN and NFL Network are ready to put on a good show.

    I would be surprised if night one of the draft doesn’t have record viewership this year. And for those of us that watch all 3 days of the draft, I think day 2 and 3 may set some records as well.

  3. This should be less than interesting to see. Most areas are banning gatherings of 10 or more people. Don’t expect to see any roaring parties in the background.

  4. Can’t wait. Glad the NFL is pushing through all of this and giving the fans something to enjoy while being safe.

  5. You can attend remotely as opposed to near something. Attend also means heed as in “to pay attention to” – in fact it meant that way before it also meant turn up someplace to be counted.

  6. The stage hug is stupid, it’s business. I don’t see any problem with holding the draft via a video conference.

  7. Burrow won’t have far to travel after he’s drafted, once he’s allowed to go to the stadium.

  8. …The draft doesn’t need to be held in an arena with millions of fans to be a compelling TV event.
    ———————–

    Was that a tongue in cheek comment, or did I blink and miss that nanosecond in time, once upon a time, when the draft was a compelling TV event?

  9. i know im in the minority but dont really care to watch this fantasy football style draft and Mainstream News style Analyst.

  10. What’s gonna be real interesting is you know a lot of the top, top prospects are going to be surrounded by lots of family (i.e. no social distancing). What’s gonna happen when a top 5, 10 or first rounder tests positive for COVID-19 a couple of days/weeks after the draft and ends up dying?? One would hope the NFL and all agents would be stressing to all players the importance of social distancing at this life changing time of their lives. Not wishing that on anyone but stranger things have happened…can anyone say Len Bias?

  11. NFL has been practicing social distancing during pro bowl games for years. Those guys never get within 6 feet of each other. this draft thing should be a piece of cake.

  12. No hugs for Roger. Sorry Rog. Maybe I can still see him having to wear a mask as he announces the 1st round picks..

  13. kotrod says:
    March 31, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Not wishing that on anyone but stranger things have happened…can anyone say Len Bias?

    No offense but that was in poor taste. Very poor taste. Seem to recall he had a drug problem. COVID 19 isn’t a choice. The thumbs downs were not enough for me on that one.

  14. I do like the draft. I like watching it. But for the picks – not the “drama”. For what I will guess is a majority of people, the fact that it is virtual won”t even matter. People have friends they never met, play games with people they never meet, and work with people they will never meet. This is only a big deal to people who don’t get that this is how people have been interacting for a generation.

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