Are you ready to see Kevin Colbert in sweat pants on his sofa? Because that’s basically what the 2020 NFL Draft is going to be like this year. It still remains to be seen exactly how it all will play out, thanks to the necessary societal restrictions put in place to fight against the pandemic, but we do know many details about how it will affect the broadcast.
For one thing, the draft will be broadcast not in Las Vegas in some major hall, but from a studio, and even Roger Goodell will be at his home. The league has said that team general managers will be making the picks from their homes, and they will not be at facilities.
They will have cameras all over the country though, as is typical, and at least from the perspective of in-house cameras on draft prospects as they get drafted, that won’t be so different from most years. the only major change in that respect is that they are asking prospects to limit their residence to no more than six people, for obvious reasons.
The NFL recently revealed that 58 draft prospects are slated to participate in the broadcast, though of course, as should so without saying, none of them will be at the draft and have the opportunity to walk across the stage, shake the commissioner’s hand (or give him a bear hug, or throw him off the stage) and hold up his new team’s jersey.
A number of top prospects, such as Joe Burrow, have expressed disappointment in the fact that they will not be able to attend the draft in person. It’s like a first-generation college student not being able to attend his graduation. And, unfortunately, that is happening too, but there is no choice. Expect the virtual one. And so we take it.
Burrow is among one of eight players from LSU alone, the defending college national champions, who are included in the 58 prospects. Another is Chase Young. Mekhi Becton, CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Reagor, Henry Ruggs, Cesar Ruiz, Jonathan Taylor, and Josh Uche, as well as Tua Tagovailoa, are just some of the remaining names who you will get a chance to see in two weeks, almost surely including interview segments after they are selected.
As of this writing, the NFL has not approved, nor even much considered, changing the structure of the draft. There will still be seven rounds, and they will still be timed as they have been, between five to 10 minutes depending on the round.