The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the NFL to cancel visits between teams and draft prospects and shut down facilities. But the 2020 NFL Draft is closing in, leaving teams to use technology to meet with future players. In the most notable example, the Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly set to meet with top prospect Justin Herbert via FaceTime on Monday.
Herbert, a top-15 pick in the latest mock draft, already spoke with the Los Angeles Chargers. While he won’t be able to get a trip to Las Vegas out of his meeting with the Raiders, the video call will provide him the ability to meet with the Raiders and potentially convince them that he can be their quarterback of the future.
Despite objection from multiple general managers, the NFL’s executive committee voted unanimously to hold the 2020 NFL Draft as scheduled from April 23-25. Now with team facilities closed to all personnel and general managers preparing from temporary draft rooms at home, teams are trying to make the best of an unprecedented situation.
The Raiders are a candidate to trade up into the top-10 picks, which they might have to do to land Herbert. The Chargers need a long-term solution at the position to replace Philip Rivers and they could be in the perfect spot to take Herbert with the No. 6 overall selection.
As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero notes, teams have to be efficient with their calls as each is limited to one hour. Furthermore, one team can’t talk to a single player more than three times a week and each call must be reported to the league’s player personnel department.
Even after impressing at the Senior Bowl, Herbert still faced some questions from scouts about his competitive drive. While emotion can be more difficult to demonstrate on a video call, meetings like these can at least help Herbert prove he is motivated and can lead a franchise.