What you need to know
- The NFL will host a virtual draft for 2020 using Microsoft Teams.
- Each team's designated drafter will participate through a secure, private channel in Teams.
- There are two failsafes in place using phone systems.
The 2020 NFL draft is going digital this year with a little help from Microsoft Teams. As reported by Bleacher Report, the NFL will use a dedicated secure Teams channel for the draft process, with each teams designated drafter making their pick through Microsoft's service. There will also be two failsafes that rely on phone systems.
In a post going over the draft process, NBC Sports' Peter King lays things out:
Each team's designated drafter will be connected to the league's official Microsoft Teams private and encrypted draft channel, and will make the pick through that channel. There are two fail-safes: A GM can call Fiore or a member of his team directly by landline or cell with the pick. Also, there will be a conference call for the length of the draft with club officials muted; the club official designated to make the pick can unmute his/her line and announce the pick. If the pick is made through Microsoft Teams, Fiore or his representative will announce on the conference call that a pick has been made and the next team is on the clock.
King goes on to explain that the time limits for each round will remain in place. The means teams will get 10 minutes for each pick in the first round, seven minutes in the second and third rounds, and five minutes in the fourth round. King said it appears the NFL "will be less autocratic about the clock if there's a legitimate reason (blackout, etc.) for a team to be late with a pick."
This is another example of how the world has adapted to the new normal of social distancing brought about by the current global health epidemic. We've seen a number of events and conferences be canceled in favor of virtual events in recent weeks. Recently, we also learned Microsoft will take its events online through 2021.