We went from a floating stage at the Bellagio to a grainy Skype call with Roger Goodell. No, this year’s remote draft won’t give us the glitz and glamour that Las Vegas undoubtedly would have, but it’s better than the deafening silence we’ve experienced over the past month with the spread of COVID-19 putting sports on the backburner.
The new format also gives NFL franchises a chance to experiment in the digital space, a relatively unexplored terrain for teams like the Redskins, who are launching their first-ever “Virtual Draft Experience.” The Redskins will stream the live broadcast on their social media accounts (that includes Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter) beginning April 23rd with new coach Ron Rivera, alumnus Brian Mitchell, Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith and starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins among the event’s scheduled participants. Fans can RSVP online with a chance to win prizes provided by the Redskins and their presenting sponsor 7-Eleven.
Rivera and his staff staff surely would have preferred a Vegas rendezvous with blackjack tables and expensive cocktails, but give the Redskins credit for making lemonade out of lemons. It could get awkward if Washington pulls a fast one by drafting Tua Tagavailoa or Justin Herbert (I doubt that would sit well with Haskins), though my colleague Tim Kelly expects the Redskins to stay the course by snagging Ohio State standout Chase Young with the second overall pick.