For decades, war rooms have been a staple of the NFL draft experience. Front offices have hunkered down together to pore over all the information they’ve collected over the previous four months, often debating which player to select until there are just a couple of seconds left on the clock.
But amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NFL Draft is being held in an entirely virtual format. Video conference calls will replace in-person debate. Executives will be alone in home offices around the country, hoping their kids don’t barge in as they’re trying to finalize a pick or pull off a blockbuster trade.
Coaches have expressed concern about the draft being hacked or otherwise interfered with by outsiders, and a practice run earlier this week left some executives befuddled.
Technical blunders, then, are a given.
With that in mind, here’s a list of everything that’s gone wonky leading up to and during the 2020 NFL Draft. We’ll update this story as more incidents occur:
Roger Goodell needs a software update
Commissioner Roger Goodell never looks fluid or completely human in front of a microphone, but his awkwardness during the NFL Draft has usually been overshadowed by the occasion. Announcing picks in an empty room this year has highlighted his stiffness.
Nothing was worse than him encouraging fans to virtually boo him.
“Wow, even the virtual boos are good,” Goodell said with the comedic timing and emphasis of a robot.
Dave Gettleman gets grief for mask, but . . .
Gettleman ditched the work station (mentioned below) that he was pictured sitting at earlier this week, but he still attracted attention by donning a mask in an empty room.
That led to jokes at his expense — but fans might act differently once they see this:
Seahawks GM wrecks his house for some reason
Seahawks general manager John Schneider asked the IT people sent to his house to ensure high-quality internet connection to knock down walls in the place. They obliged.
We have some questions:
Gettleman and the tired dad work station
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has been heavily criticized during his tenure for a number of personnel moves, including his decision to draft quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 last year. His public image among his critics is (fair or not) that of a dolt.
So when an image emerged earlier this week of his makeshift draft work station, which appeared incredibly low-tech, he became the butt of jokes.
He might just be playing dumb, though.
Bears GM needs family to watch out for the cords
Bears general manager Ryan Pace is drafting from his dining room, meaning his family will have to navigate around him.
A practice run did not go well for the Pace household.
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