Cardinals Prepared to Take NFL Draft Virtual

Mason Kern

In a memo sent to all 32 NFL teams on Monday, commissioner Roger Goodell informed the league that the 2020 draft will be conducted in a "fully virtual" format. As a result, teams are scrambling to make preparations.

The Arizona Cardinals are confident in how it will be handled internally.

(The IT department is) going to be vital," head coach Kliff Kingsbury said in a videoconference with reporters on Tuesday. "I mean, they always are. I think they're behind the scenes most of the time. They're a little bit more out in the limelight now with how the draft is going to go and how much we're depending on them. But those guys always do a tremendous job for us and film and getting us set up technology wise ... and so they're huge. They've done a tremendous job, but they always do for us."

Even with all of the precautions put in place, it is an unprecedented development, but a necessary one amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The obstacles presented are not exclusive to one franchise, but the league at large. The organizations that adapt the quickest are those that will be successful.

"We're able to watch film," Kingsbury said. "I think that there are challenges, but it's nothing compared to what the rest of the world is facing and doctors and nurses and people working in stores. I mean, you've got to keep things in perspective; it's football. So there'll be adjustments to be made, but we'll be able to call and text and for the most part we're at our houses watching film and doing the same draft prep we do in our office just without the human interaction."

Even despite the monumental differences that the virtual format will present, it also allows general managers and the people making the important decisions on draft day to have the ability to think with a clear mind.

"Honestly having talked with (general manager Steve Keim), I think he's kind of welcoming the solitude of it all," Kingsbury said. "That's a big day and there's a lot of voices that can get in your head and a lot of clutter that can go on if you're not careful. So I know he's excited to just have the process streamlined. And we'll be in constant communication as will the scouts and (owner) Michael (Bidwill). So I don't think it'll affect much. I think, if anything, it will be good for him and really allow him to have a quick clear picture and a clear thought process."


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