With the NFL forced to adjust its schedule due to the coronavirus, Roger Goodell will look to the wisdom of thousands of bored people in their 30s desperate for football in July. In an effort to test every team’s technology, the NFL will host a mock draft before the actual 2020 NFL draft takes place, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
The league will do this for the same reasons you hop into a mock draft before your fantasy league’s draft: Familiarity, comfort and to ensure your time doesn’t expire, causing you to select Leonard Fournette over Derrick Henry again.
With the league forced to hold a virtual draft, some general managers are concerned about relying solely on technology to communicate with their staff. The mock draft will, hypothetically, ease some of those concerns. General managers will realize that while the draft will be different, the online version won’t be painful.
That’s not to say there aren’t concerns about this experiment. You know how frustrating it is when one of your fantasy league members suddenly loses Internet during a draft? Imagine that on a much larger scale — where a lot more money and that person’s job is at stake.
There’s also the issue of hacking. Despite how important you believe your fantasy league is, no one is out there trying to hack into it. NFL teams are concerned about others infiltrating their conversations and potentially seeing sensitive material — such as a team’s draft board — during the draft. If that information were to get out, that could ruin a team’s strategy.
While the mock draft won’t necessarily solve that issue, it still seems like a good idea from the league. This is a new experiment, and the NFL should take every step necessary to ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Mistakes will happen, of course. No one’s fantasy drafts are perfect. There’s always someone furiously typing “STOP THE DRAFT” in the league chat because their kid mashed the keyboard and caused them to draft Andrew Luck.
Figuring out the best ways to deal with those issues will be key. So while it’s fun to laugh about the NFL actually going the way of fantasy leagues in 2020, the league holding a mock draft is a wise decision.
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