On Monday, April 6, the National Football League Commissioner, Roger Goodell, announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will be held virtually from home, unlike last year’s NFL draft which was held in Nashville, Tennessee.
This unusual change in the draft format is due to the worldwide spread and concern of COVID-19.
This new format was deemed as a much safer solution than holding the draft in an area where many people would gather very close together. With this new format, everyone was able to stay in their homes.
“Having a virtual draft takes away from the whole experience of the moment being drafted,” sophomore Sean Mchenry said. “The raw emotions aren’t there anymore with the drafting experience, but it’s a good solution with stopping corona and it keeps the players and teams safe,”
Due to these safety precautions and the way Entertainment and Sports Programming Network executed the draft, it was seen as a big success by many fans.
“The NFL draft was very different. However, I liked that there was finally a change to have it virtual so people are safe from getting the coronavirus. The draft was really fun to watch but I like the regular draft more,” sophomore Zach Shapiro said.
The NFL draft this year had 600 camera feeds in homes all across America. Many people around the league had cameras in their homes including the commissioner, coaches, owners, players and even fans.
The telecast of the 2020 NFL draft reached a record number of 55 million viewers across all telecasts, breaking last year’s viewer record with a 16% increase. Goodell announced all of the draft picks of the 2020 NFl draft from the basement of his home.
After Goodell announced the draft picks, the cameras would cut to see the reactions of the players who got drafted, and their families.
This year’s first pick was owned by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals selected Quarterback Joe Burrow out of Louisiana State University. Goodell announced the pick by the Bengals and then the video feed shifted to Burrows’ house with him, his mother and his father sitting on their couch on the phone.
“I thought it was funny to see all the players’ family members’ reactions to their sons and brothers getting drafted. It was great to see all of their genuine reactions,” sophomore Christain Schmit said.
The way the presentation was done has been seen as very authentic by many NFL fans since people were still able to view everyone’s perspective that they would see at a normal NFL draft.
The 5th pick in the draft was the Miami Dolphins who selected quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama.
After Tagovailoa got drafted, the camera feed cut to him and his family celebrating. Tagovailoa was then interviewed by an ESPN reporter over the airwaves. The newly instated Miami Dolphins QB gave all his thanks to God and stated how excited he is to play for the franchise. Many fans were very happy with the Dolphins for drafting this prospect.
Due to COVID-19, the yearly NFL football draft was very different but it will definitely be an experience that goes down in NFL history. The NFL is planning to start their regular season on time in September.