Like many, I was incredibly excited for last week’s NFL Draft.
In normal times, I am a total draftnik, no matter the sport. I love the NFL Draft, the NBA Draft, and even the MLB Draft. Bill Simmon’s old NBA Draft Diaries, the ridiculous number of sure-to-be-wholly-inaccurate Mock Drafts, Jon Gruden squinting his way through his QB Camp, analysts like Mel Kiper or Hubie Brown getting all amped up, talking about “tremendous upside potential,” or wingspan, or even hand size. I am here for it. All of it.
And that was in the before times! In these times of coronavirus, where the NFL Draft is one of the very very few “sports events” that we can tune in to watch, my draft excitement was increased by a multiple of 100.
A SPORTS THING!!! https://t.co/gHvvjbVLSw
— Michael Kasdan (@michaelkasdan) April 23, 2020
And I must say, ESPN and the NFL did a fantastic job. The 2020 NFL Draft, the world’s first “virtual draft,” went off without a hitch. It featured a GIANT – I’m talking like Jerry Jones sized – TV screen at ESPN HQ, which was tiled with video feed from draftees homes and from the homes of the league’s GMs and coaches. They stationed Roger Goodell in a wood-paneled basement, where he interacted with fans of each team via Zoom before announcing each pick. It worked.
Goodell by the time the Giants pick at 99. pic.twitter.com/b93K492Yke
— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) April 25, 2020
Frankly, in many ways, it worked so well that WE SHOULD DO IT THIS WAY ALL THE TIME!
We got to see a variety of homes and draft war-rooms, which gave us a window in the personalities of NFL teams, coaches and management. Everyone was super on brand: Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys made his picks from his Dr. Evil Yacht. Dave Gettleman of the NY Giants made his picks in a dingy basement, flanked by a single PC and a notepad. The Patriots Bill Belichick had his dog make his picks, and still did better than most.
— BarDown (@BarDown) April 24, 2020
These drafts require a group effort from multiple departments coming together after 12 months of extensive research.
The Patriots: pic.twitter.com/xj28wfDXid
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) April 24, 2020
Kliff Kingsbury’s draft central:
Kliff Kingsbury just dunking on everyone else’s NFL Draft set up. pic.twitter.com/9GfFIDamXE
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 24, 2020
— Bill Hanstock (@sundownmotel) April 24, 2020
Jerry Jones draft central:
— Michael Kasdan (@michaelkasdan) April 24, 2020
And then there’s the New York Giant’s Dave Gettleman:
Dave Gettleman looks like he’s about to tweet you from a handle that has a half-dozen numbers in it pic.twitter.com/3ZYHx5ifOc
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) April 24, 2020
The other nice feature was all the kids! It was like bring your child to work day, except you were working from home and sending video of that out to the world. It was nice. The little kids were adorable. The teenagers were hilarious. It was very authentic.
Watched the entire NFL Draft this year. Was different but wonderful! Awesome to see all these excited families, kids helping their dads, unexpected picks and learning about these young men joining the league! @Lions #lionsfanforever #boymom #lovefootball pic.twitter.com/ONkTy1TYED
— Kamy (@mossmommy2) April 25, 2020
I was just thinking this. I enjoyed the draft last night. Thought going into the homes of the kids and seeing family reactions was neat. The coaches and GM’s as well. Commissioner was weird, overall it was neat. And the Bengals didn’t mess it up! https://t.co/WWBzjp7V77
— brian klosterman (@klosterman11) April 24, 2020
Mr Freeze and a youthful Joe Exotic running sign security for Vrabel? https://t.co/DYQc1iZkC9
— Wickey Costello (@ltzgohawks) April 24, 2020
Not to mention, the players and their families. This was MUCH better than showing some sad sliding player sitting alone in the Green Room. It was so much nicer to see them all celebrating at home with their parents and loved ones:
— Andrew Thomas (@allforgod_55) April 24, 2020
Excellent recovery by CeeDee Lamb. This is a Pro Bowl move.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 24, 2020
So what do you think?
Have we discovered a new way to do the draft, or what?
Photo Credit: Twitter/cjzero