The current plan is to hold the 2020 NFL Draft in a studio setting, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.
""The NFL is not commenting publicly about what’s in the works, but according to two individuals with knowledge of the discussions, the current plans call for some type of studio setting with cut-ins from the headquarters of the teams making the selection at a given time," Farmer wrote.""- Farmer
I love and defend the NFL from the ferocious media as much as anyone, but even I don't have much faith this will be anything more than a draft without fans and a few people in a studio. A studio with high production, of course, which is important. Given the lack of sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, I expect it to be one of the highest-viewed drafts ever. With that in mind, there are some fun ideas I recommend the NFL uses in this still-to-be-determined studio:
Let us embrace AirPods: Modern technology has made the monotonous, but necessary, days of quarantining (I'm on day 10) less awful. We can now talk to and listen to anyone and anything with a little chip (yes, just one) in our ears. The NFL doesn't need players in suits and team hats to speak with snazzy-dressed reporters after getting drafted. Reporters and draftees can talk through Skype on television, with AirPods, in T-shirts in front of their bookshelves. (By the way, why does every on-air person with an in-home camera have a picture-perfect bookshelf with not a single open spot?)
If we need to see the players in hats, just remember how fast we saw Tom Brady in a Bucs uniform, via Photoshop. (And he won't even be wearing that uniform!)
I've long been convinced you don't really know a human until you read their tweets. So, axe the say all the right things interviews and instead have the players send out their thoughts on social media. Not saying all players would use the opportunity to take a shot at their haters, but we'd likely get some insight on that high school bully who once told a now-NFL player he was never going to make it past varsity benchwarmer.
Lastly, since this is going to take place in a studio, it might as well feature what studios were made for: yelling. Sure, smart, expert analysis will be in-demand during the draft. But with the hiatus of sports, the debaters will have become restless by the time this kicks off. Offensive line selections, scheme fits, and system transitions will serve as welcome debate topics to replace Jordan vs. LeBron Part (???). Just have Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, and those in-between ready to go.