The 2020 NFL Draft is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
This isn’t hyperbole, either. Because Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed each team that the upcoming draft will be a completely virtual experience.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero shared the memo from the league in a tweet, which has been embedded below:
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just informed clubs in a memo that club facilities will remain closed indefinitely and the league will conduct a “fully virtual” draft, with club personnel separately located in their homes. pic.twitter.com/28t2kNnLAI
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 6, 2020
This means the Draft will be a work-from-home experience – and not even one where multiple executives can gather in one place to conduct their work. Team employees are being instructed to draft from their homes. It’s a surreal, but necessary development as the league attempts to do its part in stemming the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve by enforcing social distancing policies.
Previously, the NFL was considering allowing smaller “war rooms” for teams to gather at an off-site location that wasn’t a team facility. But with “shelter-in-place” and “stay-at-home” orders in effect, that probably wasn’t feasible for the league (or any of its teams). Hence, Commissioner Goodell has made the ruling that teams must draft at home. So, yes, Bears GM Ryan Pace, Head Coach Matt Nagy, and the staff responsible for selecting talent will be doing their work on draft weekend via conference calls from home like many of us have had to in recent weeks..
As things currently stand, the Bears have seven picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Two of those are in the top-50, but they are the only ones the team has within the first 150 selections.