Live, From Roger Goodell's Basement, the NFL Draft

Dan Raley

What's in your basement?

From Roger Goodell's lower house level in Westchester, New York, America this week will embrace the NFL draft with more gusto than ever -- welcoming the country's first significant sporting event in more than a month.

Pre-pandemic, the event was scheduled for all the glitz and rowdiness of Las Vegas, fountains in the background. For safety reasons, it can't happen.

Instead, Goodell probably had to hide his Christmas ornaments and tools from view in order to announce the 32 first-rounders who will be selected on Thursday.

Rather than a theater or street full of NFL draftees, executives and boisterous fans, the NFL commissioner will go it alone with an information technology person.

The broadcast will shift between ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, and Goodell's upscale home.

Teams, with three decision-makers and an IT person on hand likely working at safe distances, will participate in this makeshift virtual draft meant for business to go on as usual yet in a super safe mode.

Everyone will share in a mock draft on Monday to make sure everything works. 

More than four dozen players have been sent technology enabling them to share in draft interviews from their homes, including Washington quarterback Jacob Eason.

Basically, the draft will resemble one big conference call, shared with football fans everywhere. Expect elaborate displays and graphics, such as the one shown here with Washington offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, drafted last year by the Atlanta Falcons.

All sort of precautions are in place to prevent hackers from interrupting the proceedings. Multiple backup systems will be in place to ensure that everyone gets their picks in on the clock.

What there won't be are awkward hugs between happy players and Goodell or the requisite booing that comes with whomever either one of the New York teams select.

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