Other than potential security issues, and the very real possibility that the process of signing rookie college free agents could turn into a madhouse, the biggest concern that teams have pertaining to the 2020 NFL Draft under its atypical guise is whether or not it will be more difficult to be able to make trades.
Recently, Dave Gettleman, the general manager of the New York Giants, spoke somewhat to that concern when asked by a reporter about whether or not he would consider making a trade, saying that he would like to at least know what the parameters of a trade would look like before he was on the clock. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos, for example, had already discussed a possible trade before the latter was on the clock and the former moved up to draft Devin Bush.
Earlier this week, Ian Rapoport Tweeted that the league is going to provide “a separate and secure line” for teams during the NFL Draft that will be dedicated to discussing and making trades. “Teams will call in and speak on that line to complete trades to have multiple voices on it”, he wrote, referring to multiple parties from one team.
One more draft note: There is a separate and secure line created for draft trades. Teams will call in and speak on that line to complete trades to have multiple voices on it (GM, assistant GM, etc). That’ll be simulated next week in the mock draft, too.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2020
He went on to say that this separate line for trades will be a part of the league-wide ‘mock draft’, or draft simulation systems check, that will be carried out early next week. All 32 teams will be running through their systems and through the league’s system to make sure that their at-home draft setups are all prepared properly and ready to function without issue when the time comes to make selections next week.
This also speaks, however, to those fears of potential security interference. How is the line secure, and how would it work? It goes without saying that teams discussing a trade would not wants others to be eavesdropping on that conversation, and then potentially take some sort of action in response, such as making a trade ahead of those two parties.
Imagine, for example, if a team drafting after 10 was privy to the fact that the Steelers and Broncos were preparing to pull the trigger on a trade for the former to move up and draft Bush. That team could have, theoretically, endeavored to trade up to the nine spot, knowing that Bush would be gone at 10.
It’s one thing to be able to make an educated guess about where you would need to be to get the player you want, and another to actually know because you found out through espionage. Even with this separate line, I’m not sure it’s going to alleviate security concerns entirely.