The league is able to conduct the first day of the virtual draft with no technical issues
There were still doubts in the air, but the first day of the NFL Draft took place yesterday and, overall, it was a success. The event went on for four hours, throughout which Roger Goodell was announcing picks from his home basement. “It went well, so I’ll sleep a little better,” he said. The NFL has been working on setting up this virtual draft for weeks since it became clear that things were not going back to normal in time for the scheduled events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s an adjustment, and it’s different,” asserted Goodell. “You don’t compare it to the other ones. It was really cool.” Goodell admitted that there was a moment during the preparation time in which they thought it was a bad idea to host the second biggest event of the NFL on the calendar online. “It definitely was full steam ahead,” he said. “But you always have your hesitations, your concerns. I know how important this is to the clubs. If we had come out of this where they didn’t have time to make trades or if something operationally went wrong … but we heard zero of that. People were making a big deal of that, making a big deal of, is it really the right time to do this kind of event.”
The first minutes of yesterday’s draft had Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praising the NFL for making the effort to move along with the online draft. “People were looking forward to it; it went way beyond interest in football,” Goodell said. Rounds Two and Three will be held today and tomorrow, respectively, and the league still expects to start the action this September.