HOUSTON – Finally we will have a legitimate sports event to follow later this week when the NFL holds its annual draft.
Virtual draft, to be clear, as what once was slated to be a huge party in Las Vegas now becomes a Zoom show all across the country.
Yes, the draft we have all grown to love will certainly have a different look and feel to it when the fun begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday.
I did a Facebook Live this week and talked about the technology that will be a big part of the NFL Draft. The tech side is what’s now getting all of the attention, and after today’s mock simulated draft to test all the bells and whistles, let’s just say they have some bugs to work out between now and Thursday night when the Bengals are officially on the clock with the number one overall pick.
Let’s start with the Bengals who from the get go in the mock draft had tech issues as did many others during the course of testing. Signal problems, audio issues topped the list and many were figuring out how the hot new way of video conferencing, Zoom, actually works.
It’s not that hard folks.
That said, after you learn the buttons and how to navigate through the sessions you can only hope and expect that things are in fine working order at the house.
Did I mention this NFL Virtual draft will be done from the homes of all involved with the league and each team? Commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing picks from the basement of his house and the same will go for all the team general managers, head coaches, scouts and anyone that has any say in individual selections starting in round one.
Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien addressed the technology challenges he and others could face this weekend in a Zoom call with the media last week.
“I don’t know if I would call it a concern, I would say just making sure that your cell phone works. If a team is trying to call you or you’re trying to call a team, making sure you have the ability to contact another team or they have the ability to contact you," said O’Brien.
" I’m not concerned about the NFL, the technology. They’re putting a lot of work into that. We’re going to have a mock draft early next week, so each team will be able to kind of walk through it, rehearse it. I’m not concerned about that. I would just say if anything it’s being able to – we all have to be separate, so just making sure that we can all get in touch. Sometimes cell phones don’t work all the time in certain areas.”
So the NFL and all of the teams are on the clock and keep your fingers crossed that all things are in working order. This is still great TV as it always has been but this year things will look different.
For the time being it is our new normal.