The NFL held it’s ‘mock draft’ pre-draft systems check yesterday, during which all 32 teams participated in a two-round draft simulation that included each team maneuvering through one trade in addition to making one other selection. The purpose of this procedure was exclusively to test out the technical details of the process and to allow all teams to familiarize themselves with it.
Apparently, it did not go off without a hitch. But it was not nearly as bad as it was first being reported. Multiple national reporters were Tweeting with an undercurrent of glee about how they were being texted by front office personnel just as things were getting underway with the mock draft about an immediate mishap with the first-overall pick.
According to John Elway, the general manager of the Denver Broncos, however, that was about the extent of the issues with the hours-long procedure. It was reported that the hiccup was a matter of a technical glitch of some kind that was not otherwise detailed.
“The mock draft went smooth”, he told The Athletic. “It got off to a little bit of a hiccup when we first started, but other than that it went really smooth. There were really no problems with it, so we got more comfortable with it. It should go on without a glitch. I’m sure there will be a couple glitches here and there, but actually for the first time, I thought it went pretty well”.
Of course, this was in a controlled environment, with teams being given player names to pick from, not making actual selections as though it were the real thing, and manufacturing known trades, doing so in a randomized draft order.
When the actual draft occurs, it will take place over three days, with all 32 teams, individually scattered within themselves, trying to make decisions that will help shape the course of their organization going forward, and depending upon technology that is new to them.
The NFL has already said that it will allow for legitimate technical glitches, such as a power outage, but if it is simply a matter of a team making a mechanical or human error on their own part, they will not be forgiven, and, for example, if they fail to get their pick in during the allotted time, the team behind them would be able to select a player first if they get their card in first.
However it works out, the 2020 NFL Draft is now just two days away. Granted, the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be picking until Friday, but nevertheless, an actual sports-adjacent event hasn’t been a thing for a while, so…yeah, I think we’re ready for this.