Creating Perfection out of a Less than Ideal Situation
Following every NFL Draft, analysts and fans always grade the individual teams’ performances, looking at how well they drafted. This year’s draft was looked at much the same way: some had fantastic drafts, some had good drafts and some had questionable drafts, and I’ll write about each of the three. However, there was one draft effort that was perfect, and it came from the NFL itself.
Given the very new circumstances created by the stay-at-home order as a result of the COVID-19 virus, the NFL had to quickly adapt and figure out how to do the draft virtually. Going into the event, many (including me) were skeptical about whether it would go smoothly, especially after the mock run through was hampered by an error right off the bat. However, I was very pleased to see that the league not only managed to pull it off, but to pull it off in a way that breathed fresh life into the decades-old event.
Holding the draft virtually, we got to see a lot more into the lives of the GMs and head coaches at home, which may have actually been a masterstroke that will continue in future drafts. Having their families and home environments around them actually served to humanize these people, giving fans and viewers a little insight into what these people are like in real life. There were scenes of children cheering on their teams (shoutout to new Panthers coach Matt Rhule and his little daughters for bringing the energy), nice houses (Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury’s house was a talking point through the event) and even dogs (Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s dog sat in for him during parts of the event).
Additionally, the league did the right thing and gave Las Vegas a mulligan. Vegas was supposed to host this year’s draft, but it was obviously cancelled. Now, the 2021 NFL Draft was already scheduled to be in Cleveland, but the 2022 NFL Draft will now be in Las Vegas, to give their new fanbase the proper chance to shine on the draft stage.
Seriously though, I’m so happy that the event went well and it’s a welcome break for the NFL from the frequent criticism it gets on many levels. I hope next year’s draft is this much fun and I think the GMs, coaches and league officials will hope so too!