The 2020 NFL Draft is approaching with general managers prepping from home for an experience unlike any other. In addition to growing concerns from executives and coaches over hacking in a fully-virtual draft, teams are fearful of blowing the draft.
According to ESPN’s Jason Reid, there is increasing discussion around the NFL of teams becoming increasingly worried about screwing up their draft.
Given the restrictions teams are dealing with that have limited their abilities to scout and meet with players, an increasing fear for making costly mistakes is understandable for general managers.
The feeling is likely shared throughout the NFL and might be part of the reasoning why one general manager requested the league compensate teams during the 2020 NFL Draft. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league had to take multiple precautions to ensure the safety of its employees.
In early March, the NFL shut down all visits between draft prospects and teams. Losing in-person meetings took away the opportunities for in-person meetings, medical examinations and individual workouts. This came after organizations pulled their coaches and scouts from the road with colleges canceling Pro Days or closing them off to the public, eliminating an opportunity for players to put their skills on display.
Teams rely heavily on obtaining as much information as possible during the offseason and these meetings and Pro Days are crucial in the evaluation process. It’s why general managers pushed for the 2020 NFL Draft to be pushed back, a request that the NFL quickly denied.
The 2020 NFL Draft, which will be held from April 23-25, will present more challenges than teams have ever faced before. In a line of work where one bad draft class can result in executives, coaches and scouts being fired, the pressure will be on teams more than ever.