2020 NFL Draft Coverage

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all sports have been shut down indefinitely with no exact timetable for return. However, one thing will help sports fans cope with the loss of sports. The NFL Draft continues, but not how you would think.

Traditionally, the draft takes place physically in a set location with the prospects and their families waiting for their names to be called by the 32 teams. This year it would have been in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 23rd to the 25th. However, among the pandemic, the league has decided to move to a virtual draft in hopes of preventing the spread of the virus. Teams will stay at home and conduct the draft process. General Managers, coaches, and the IT staff will participate in the virtual draft in a one of a kind draft. On the other hand, many are not aware of how the draft will now work. Let’s dive into that.

In the first-ever virtual NFL Draft, teams will use a combination of modified versions of Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom. Each of these communication networks will be secured for only team access. This will allow each aspect of a team to work together and effectively in deciding on the prospect that they are going to take. A tradition at the draft is the commissioner announcing the picks on stage for the first round of the draft. This year NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has also stated that he will announce the picks from his New York home basement.

While these communications networks will be secured, some NFL GM’s have concerns that they will be hacked and that the hypothetical hackers will be able to make a pick that the team does not want to make. While this is a valid point, the NFL has made contingencies for these scenarios. While the normal pick would be sent to Goodell through the Microsoft Teams application, if that system goes down, teams can send their picks through email or a phone call.

In the case of this virtual draft, we can only hope that this is the first and last of its kind. However, the presence of the draft provides some light in the darkness that we face.

One of the highly touted wide receiver prospects is Henry Ruggs III. His sad backstory provides us with purpose in his determination. Ruggs’ best friend was Roderic Scott. They seemed like twin brothers to anyone who didn’t know the two with their similarly cut hair and secret handshakes and signals. Ruggs said, “I keep a lot to myself.” Scott was one of the few people who knew how to get him to talk. One day, Ruggs became sick with the flu and couldn’t go to a basketball game with Roderic Scott. Scott was involved in a car accident and was thrown from the car, which resulted in serious head injuries. When Ruggs heard about this, he ran to the hospital where Scott was. Scott died the next day and Ruggs blamed himself for his best friend’s death. However, Ruggs found a way to memorialize his best friend forever. When Ruggs scored his first touchdown for the University of Alabama, he did “3’s up”. When asked about why he did that, he stated that Roderic Scott wore number 3 when they used to play basketball. After every touchdown scored by Ruggs, he always remembered his friend who helped push him to play football. While Ruggs might be best known for his speed, with a 4.27-second 40-yard dash (the fastest at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine), his heart and friendship overweigh his physical gift. His story should inspire us to appreciate our loved ones and friends as we will never know when it comes to an end.

MOCK DRAFT

Trades:

1. Dolphins get No. 3  | Lions get No. 5, No. 39
2. Browns get No. 4  | Giants get No. 10, No. 41, No. 97
3. Buccaneers get No. 7 |Panthers get No. 14, No. 45
4. Jets get No. 9, No. 116  | Jaguars get No. 11, No. 79

Round 1

Round 1- Pick 1

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow QB

LSU • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 2

Washington Redskins

Chase Young EDGE

OHIO STATE • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 3

 Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa QB

ALABAMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 4

Cleveland Browns

Isaiah Simmons LB

CLEMSON • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 5

Detroit Lions

Jeff Okudah CB

OHIO STATE • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 6

Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert QB

OREGON • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jedrick Wills Jr. OL

ALABAMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 8

Arizona Cardinals

Tristan Wirfs OL

IOWA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 9

New York Jets

Andrew Thomas OL

GEORGIA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 10

New York Giants

Mekhi Becton OL

LOUISVILLE • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 11

Jacksonville Jaguars

Derrick Brown DL

AUBURN • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 12

Las Vegas Raiders

CeeDee Lamb WR

OKLAHOMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 13

San Francisco 49ers

CJ Henderson CB

FLORIDA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 14

Carolina Panthers

Patrick Queen LB

LSU • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 15

Denver Broncos

Jerry Jeudy WR

ALABAMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 16

Atlanta Falcons

Javon Kinlaw DL

SOUTH CAROLINA • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 17

Dallas Cowboys

Xavier McKinney S

ALABAMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 18

Miami Dolphins

Josh Jones OL

HOUSTON • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 19

Las Vegas Raiders

A.J. Terrell CB

CLEMSON • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 20

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kristian Fulton CB

LSU • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 21

Philadelphia Eagles

Henry Ruggs III WR

ALABAMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 22

Minnesota Vikings

Jaylon Johnson CB

UTAH • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 23

New England Patriots

Justin Jefferson WR

LSU • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 24

New Orleans Saints

Tee Higgins WR

CLEMSON • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 25

Minnesota Vikings

K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE

LSU • SOPH

 

Round 1 – Pick 26

Miami Dolphins

Cesar Ruiz OL

MICHIGAN • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 27

Seattle Seahawks

Ezra Cleveland OL

BOISE STATE • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 28

Baltimore Ravens

Kenneth Murray LB

OKLAHOMA • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 29

Tennessee Titans

Jeremy Chinn S

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 30

Green Bay Packers

Denzel Mims WR

BAYLOR • SR

 

Round 1 – Pick 31

San Francisco 49ers

Ross Blacklock DL

TCU • JR

 

Round 1 – Pick 32

Kansas City Chiefs

Grant Delpit S

LSU • JR