The NFL Draft Goes Virtual; What This Means For the NFL and Draftees
COVID-19 has forced the world to rely on one means of communication while promoting social distancing, virtual. With apps like Zoom, Live Streaming, and Social Media, technology has expanded in a matter of weeks; Forcing young and old to assimilate to the new normal. Collegiate and Professional clubs are forced to find ways to keep in touch with players and their staff during these unprecedented teams, but the one thing many coaches have spoken the highest of concern was... hacking.
Even with adding their playbooks to certain apps, coaches aren't investing 100% into virtual teaching. With the NFL doing a virtual draft, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens voiced his concern of the possibility of a team hacking their drafting process. When you think about it, anyone could.
"Yeah, big concern," John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens told the Baltimore Sun. "Every time I read something in, like, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times that talks about how messed up Zoom is, or some of these other deals ... I immediately text it to our IT people, and [director of football administration] Nick Matteo's one of those guys, and they assure me that we are doing everything humanly possible."
As one club executive told me Friday, it's unnerving to think there's even a small possibility that one NFL team with a smart IT person could figure how to hack another team's Zoom sessions on draft night.
The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new way fans, draftees, and NFL teams will watch and participate in the NFL Draft... virtually. Draftees will all have to notified and watch online or tv for the biggest day of their life. NFL teams were also informed that all facilities would remain closed indefinitely, and the league will conduct a "fully virtual" draft, with staff personnel separately located in their homes. No war rooms allowed.
The draft, which airs April 23-25, will showcase draftees in their homes. Since the gathering of only ten or less is allowed, the parties will be a lot smaller this year to celebrate the success of going professional. Tar Heels, such as Jason Strowbridge, Charlie Heck, Myles Dorn, Aaron Crawford, and Dominique Ross are headed into this year's draft.
While it may not be the best situation, EASports has decided to add a perk. Ian Rapoport has reported that EASPorts will create a virtual moment of each prospect walking out to meet commissioner Roger Goodell, and draftees will get to give a $2,500 grant to a high school football program of their choice.
But if you're not in it for the draft, our friend Shawn Krest of Blue Devil Country, pulled some data from BetOnline of some exciting wagers going on for the draft. And if you're smart, you'll bet your life on technical difficulties.
Who will No. 1 overall pick hug first?
Highest number of people in same room
Total dogs shown during the first round
Total cats shown during the first round
Then there are the Skype/Zoom related issues that we’re all becoming familiar with:
Will any draftee experience local technical difficulties?
Yes -300 (1/3)
No +200 (2/1)
Will any first round draftee put on the wrong team hat?
Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)
Will any draftee be shown drinking beer?
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -2000 (1/20)
Will any draftee pop champagne?
Yes +600 (6/1)
No -1700 (1/17)
What do you think about the NFL Draft? Will you be tuning in?