This will be a draft without traditional NFL “war rooms,” without Roger Goodell bro-hugs, without live end-of-day press conferences, without team-sponsored draft parties in auditoriums, without top prospects arrayed around tables in flashy suits, nervously awaiting their NFL fate.
It will be weird. And with an unprecedented reliance on technology in an industry dominated by crusty old “football guys,” it could get REALLY weird.
But the show is going on. Here is my 2020 Remote Quarantined Socially Distanced NFL Mock Draft.
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: Cincinnati has its best QB since Boomer Esiason. America has live sports again.
General manager Bruce Allen delivers the pick but his laptop is on mute. He keeps mouthing words that look, to the best of anyone’s guess, like “feathered toaster over.” Pick forfeited.
Fifteen minutes of video feed shows an empty office with eight monitors, three phones and a Lions helmet, but no people. A cat briefly walks through the frame. Silence. Pick forfeited.
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State: ABC cameras cut to Young’s family home. No one is smiling. Maybe they didn’t hear he was drafted by the Giants. Or maybe they did.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: A building-block defensive player for Miami.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State. NFL officials are telling the Chargers that Okudah has already been selected. LA coach Anthony Lynn and GM Tom Telesco apparently can’t hear them. They are smiling and virtual high-fiving.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Roger Goodell looks stricken.
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: The Cards have been loading up on offense. Here is their defensive stud.
Jacksonville GM David Caldwell says “Juh..” before the image freezes mid-word. No one is sure whether the Jags wanted Justin Herbert or Javon Kinlaw. Pick forfeited.
Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU: NFL team executives have a good laugh, thinking there has been another draft-night glitch when Cleveland selects a second-round talent at No. 10. But no, it’s just the Browns.
Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa: New York gets the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft. One potential target off the 49ers’ big board.
Jon Gruden is set to make Las Vegas’ pick, but he spends the allotted time telling one of his sons how to properly mow a lawn: “You’ve gotta start at the edges and work your way into the middle. Keep those lines straight, man!”
Jedrick Wills, T, Alabama: The Niners have Joe Staley’s successor. Director of video operations Mike Bracken immediately gets a promotion to executive VP and a statue outside of Levi’s Stadium.
General manager Jason Licht announces the pick, but can’t be heard over the barking of his German shepherd. Pick forfeited.
Goodell announces a trade out of the 15 spot, the 2020 draft’s first deal. We wait for the details. No one seems to know. John Elway has been logged out. Pick forfeited.
As Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff announces his team’s pick, Elway logs back in to say that Denver’s trade partner was the Texans. Houston’s Bill O’Brien then attempts to announce his team’s selection at No. 15. He and Dimitroff are talking over each other as if the other weren’t there. No one can hear a word.
Now Jerry Jones is talking, too, along with Dimitroff and O’Brien. It’s a cacophony. The red-faced Jones ends his 15 minutes by screaming “You’re all fired!!!” into the camera.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. “Guys, this isn’t that hard,” Miami GM Chris Grier says.
Gruden is now talking about “Tiger King,” which he did not care for. “These cats are powerful athletes, man. You gotta give ’em some room to operate!” Pick forfeited.
The Jacksonville screen is showing cut-ups of Oregon QB Justin Herbert throwing deep outs. This is considered close enough, and he is awarded to the Jags.
Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman and his wife are taking an online Zumba class. Pick forfeited, though Mrs. Roseman shows good balance and moves well in space.
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: Minnesota gets Kirk Cousins a formidable weapon.
CJ Henderson, CB, Florida: Experiencing technical difficulties, Bill Belichick takes 22 minutes to make the pick. Everybody pretends they didn’t notice.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: They can’t. He’s already taken. It’s not allowed. For f’s sake.
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: Wow, how did this fast, dependable linebacker fall so far?
Fifteen minutes of grains of sand falling through an electronic hourglass. Pick forfeited.
Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville: Seattle has a plan for keeping Nick Bosa and Dee Ford off of Russell Wilson.
- HOUSTON ASTROS
Spencer Torkelson, 1B/OF, Arizona State: Baltimore Ravens’ account may have been hacked. Pick is under review. Astros owner Jim Crane says he doesn’t believe it will affect competitive outcomes in any case.
It’s just a Tik-Tok of a mom dancing to Cardi B. Pick forfeited.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: Snatched right out of the Niners’ hands.
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: Great complement to Deebo and Kittle. Mike Bracken given a 10-percent ownership interest in the franchise.
Unaware it’s his turn, Andy Reid spends his allotted time trying to order barbecue through DoorDash. And also pizza. Pick forfeited.