Virtual NFL Draft is a success

Holding+a+draft+card%2C+NFL+Commissioner+Roger+Goodell+announces+defensive+end+Chase+Young+as+the+Washington+Redskins+pick.+The+NFL+held+a+virtual+draft+due+to+Coronavirus+concerns.+

Kate Caranante

Holding a draft card, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces defensive end Chase Young as the Washington Redskins pick. The NFL held a virtual draft due to Coronavirus concerns.

Kate Caranante, Sports Editor

A chance to play in the NFL is the pinnacle of American football. The NFL Draft gets talented young men one step closer to achieving their dream of playing that national stage.  

Every year, the NFL Draft is held with the players, their families, and fans in the audience. As each player is drafted, they walk across the stage and are greeted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as they pose for a picture with their new team’s jersey.  

This year however, due to COVID-19, the NFL Draft was not able to be held in front of a live audience with the players walking across the stage. Instead, when NFL fans tuned in to watch Goodell was speaking to them live from a set-up in the basement of his home 

When Goodell officially opened the first ever Virtual NFL draft, he was sure to acknowledge the things he would miss since he could not hold the ceremony in person. He said he would miss the hugs he got from every player as they walked across the stage and the interaction he got to have with the fans during the event.  

As the event got started the cameras would switch from house to house as different sports casters, coaches, and players were talking while waiting for each team to pick their new player. When the pick was in the camera would go back to Goodell and he would announce the decision. 

Each team had a “war room” set up in the homes of the general manager, owner, and head coach. One of these three individuals could make the pick that got sent back to Goodell.  

Kate Caranante
As quarterback Joe Burrow is announced as the Bengal’s pick, fans cheer on a video screen. The draft was held virtually in order to follow CDC guidelines.

The fans were also incorporated into event. Some fans from each team were chosen to join a live video call that was projected on a screen behind Goodell in his home. Fans could be seen cheering along as their team made their first-round picks.  

Throughout the night there was an ongoing Draft-A-Thon where NFL fans were encouraged to donate to help those suffering from COVID-19 and those on the front lines of the pandemic. In collaboration with the NFL players association, clubs, owners, and players, the NFL has already donated over $80 million to relief efforts like the American Red Cross and Feeding America.  

The first round of Virtual NFL Draft went smoothly with no technical difficulties and as league hoped, everyone was able to have fun virtually. The league also wanted this event to restore hope and generate optimism across the country.