The NFL sent a letter to its teams today announcing the 2020 draft would be fully virtual. While this was an expected development in light of the measures currently in place around the world to combat the spread of coronavirus, this is the first official word teams have received.
Here's Roger Goodell's full notice telling teams that there will be no gatherings allowed and each team must be fully virtual for the draft:
The first night of the draft will be the day many an NFL personnel man first realizes the value of the IT guy, at the very least.
The draft will go on despite pleas from general managers and the various scouting sacrifices that will have to be made without in-person visits being permitted. It also opens the door to a slew of draft day blunders stemming from the virtual component of it all. I highly doubt a team will make the wrong selection because their GM hits the Enter button too soon, but I can easily envision a rogue pet ruining a team's announcement or a fumbling post-draft interview conversation with a prospect as a result of stream delay.
It will be interesting to see how all parties involve handle a virtual draft. ESPN and NFL Network are already in talks to telecast the draft together with a charity component. It should be quite the event as everyone attempts to tackle this unprecedented scenario.