It’s going to be somewhat of a learn on the job experience for all 32 general managers during the 2020 NFL Draft starting Thursday. As you already know, this year’s event will be held virtually with all teams making their picks remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s been some concern over online hacking and technology issues. Certain general managers are now worried that trades during the draft itself will be hard to come by due to its remote nature.
“General managers around the league said this week the remote nature of the draft will change the way teams move up and down in the order next Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” the Associated Press reported. “Spur of the moment deals might be difficult to engineer with team officials at their homes and not in “war rooms” in their headquarters. It will be nearly impossible to look around the room for a quick consensus.”
This could especially be true when it comes to teams with new general managers and/or head coaches. Those relationships have not been built up to the level of other pairings that have existed for years. General manager Marty Hurney and new head coach Matt Rhule might have a more difficult time with the Panthers than say the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan duo in San Francisco.
The expectation is that some trades could be predetermined. The Detroit Lions and New York Giants, picking third and fourth respectively, have already had discussions with others teams about a trade down. Given that the Bengals are set to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 with the Redskins opting for Ohio State EDGE rusher Chase Young at two, that makes a lot of sense.
Even then, there has to be some concern outside of the top 10. The draft will still flow rapidly. Things will change with surprise picks. It’s going to be a major test for teams looking to move up and down the draft board. That’s for sure.