Lil’ Yachty: NFL allows team war rooms for 2021 draft, what will Jerry do?

Todd Brock
·3 min read

Last year’s NFL draft was arguably the first big event-with-a-capital-E that demonstrated just how unusual life in a pandemic was going to be. Football fans got an unprecedented look inside the real at-home lives of their teams’ coaches and general managers as cameras broadcast them making their picks live- and self-quarantined, when that was still a new term- from their basements, rec rooms, home offices, living room sofas, kitchen tables… and, in the case of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, aboard his 357-foot superyacht.

One year later, the 2021 draft will help showcase how things in the world are gradually returning to normal.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the league has informed clubs that they will be allowed to draft from their regular war rooms in their team facilities and with in-person support staff.

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Pelissero points out that coaches and GMs will have the alternative option of once again drafting from home or even a neutral-site location. Each team’s plan must be submitted to the league by March 26, however, for approval from Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer.

TV cameras will be installed wherever each team’s brain trust will be, but it is assumed that most will choose to utilize their regular facilities.

Last April, Jones famously conducted the Cowboys’ 2020 draft from the luxurious Bravo Eugenia. After a universally-lauded haul that netted the club CeeDee Lamb and several other highly-rated prospects who somehow fell to Dallas, Jones joked then that he may make the floating war room a new Cowboys tradition.

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It’s hard to imagine Jones and his draft team not actually assembling at The Star in Frisco to make this year’s picks, no matter how swimmingly last year’s draft at sea went.

Those gathered in the Cowboys draft room next month will have to abide by several rules and precautions that are carrying over from the pandemic, even with growing numbers of individuals having been vaccinated against COVID-19. No eating or drinking will be allowed in the draft rooms, for example. Proper distancing and mask-wearing will be mandatory.

The draft will be held April 29 through May 1. The live in-person event, hosted this year by the city of Cleveland, will move ahead as planned, with appropriate safety protocols in place there as well.

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