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.