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Report: NFL plans multiple safeguards for virtual 2020 NFL Draft

NFL Draft
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft is fast approaching and with many teams still concerned about the upcoming virtual draft, where general managers will operate from home, the NFL is reportedly planning multiple safeguards to help make it a smoother experience.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the NFL is preparing to conduct multiple tests before the 2020 NFL Draft to help teams prepare for drafting remotely. The league will also be implementing several safeguards to ensure that any technical issues don’t cause draft disruptions or potentially impact a draft selection or trade.

The NFL is planning to run multiple tests with all 32 teams to help each organization see how their internet connection responds during the NFL Draft. Among the dry runs conducted by the league will be a full mock draft with every team to simulate how things will go from April 23-25.

One of the safeguards, per ESPN, will be a conference call that runs alongside the 2020 NFL Draft. If a general manager loses his internet connection at home, he would still be able to submit the team’s pick on the call or could submit it via email.

While there was initial discussionfor giving each team a one-time extension when they are on the clock, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Tuesday that it will not be implemented. However, the NFL will be willing to allow some leeway if a trade occurs and there is a major technical difficulty for one of the teams involved.

Multiple test runs will likely help some general managers feel better about encountering any technical issues during the 2020 NFL Draft. However, there are still other concerns across the league.

Multiple teams fear they could be at risk for hacking, a growing problem for many across the nation who are now relying on video conferencing. Several front offices are also worried about blowing their draft due to the offseason evaluation process on prospects being severely limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ultimately, the NFL is moving forward with the 2020 NFL Draft and is determined to keep it as normal as possible. The experience likely won’t be especially enjoyable for teams, but fans will be happy to have the three-day event going on.