The Strangest Draft

April 9th, 2020

So when the NFL begins the draft later this month, it will have to rely on technology like never before.

Thanks to the [national advertisers don’t like that word], the NFL has had its team headquarters on lockdown forcing everyone to work from home.

That holds true for the draft. General managers will run the draft from their homes. Coaches and scouts will also be forced to stay home. So video conferencing, FaceTime, Zoom, group texts, you name it will be utilized by teams.

Today in a pre-draft press conference (hosted by Zoom, naturally), Licht was asked about the technical side of this draft.

Yesterday, we learned how quickly Zoom can freeze up several times on a user as Tom Brady tried to conduct his interview with Howard Stern using the video conferencing software.

Recently while on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Licht admitted he was scared his WiFi might crash during the draft.

So like teams hold many mock drafts to prepare for the draft, Licht and his staff is also doing mock drafts with various pieces of technology going down at different points.

“We are currently going through a lot of scenarios with that,” Licht said. “We are working through a lot of different platforms in terms of video conferences.

“We are going to find the best one, the most secure-run and we will have some mock situations of our own.”

Licht and his staff are also prepared to use old fashioned landlines if they have to.

“Sometimes you can get a little bit technical in these situations,” Licht said. “You want to make sure you have a [landline] phone and several phones available to you, cell phones and what have you.

“Sometimes, it comes down to [picking up an] old fashioned phone and calling the league office and saying, ‘We are going to pick this player.'”

Licht admitted a Bucs IT guy will be stationed in his house throughout the draft.

As for the mechanics of turning in the card, virtually, when the Bucs make a pick and technology goes down, Licht said the “least of his concerns” is who contacts the league office to turn the pick in.

“It will get in one way or the other.”

22 Responses to “The Strangest Draft”

  1. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Shouldn’t be a problem when everyone is armed with a cellphone and everyone should be logged into their own network services. If Licht’s wi-fi goes down I doubt Arians would at the same time. Now if you’re too stupid enough to rely on just one set-up then you might as well turn in your resignation.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The technology is there for this to work…..the only communication that is essential is the GM to the NFL…..all others are secondary….not that complicated, really.

    And, we may have to get used to it…..I predict the games will be played either with or without fans…..players, coaches & refs tested prior to games….neutral sites if necessary…..there is $5 BILLION in TV rights on the line….they’ll play!!!

  3. 541BucsFan Says:

    Murphy’s Law suggests a glitch will impact a few teams in a variety of ways. This should be fun.

  4. Coburn Says:

    Teams will be employing hackers to mess up other teams sharing draft boards lol. As mentioned worst comes to worst and you pick up the phone

  5. jmarkbuc Says:

    Conference call on your cell phone, and a land line…or vice versa. What’s the big deal?

  6. Joe Says:

    Teams will be employing hackers to mess up other teams sharing draft boards

    F’ that, hire a Russian hacker to find out a team’s draft board.

  7. ClodHopper Says:

    I realize zoom is the best out there and the NFL isn’t a national security issue but is there really not a service for every single person to use that doesn’t go through those assbags in China?

  8. Buczilla Says:

    I’m still a big draft geek, but when they changed the days to Thursday, Friday, Saturday from just Saturday and Sunday, they kind of ruined the process for me. In general, the draft is boring as all hell and it was the perfect excuse to have friends over for an all day/night party on Saturday. Kinda hard to do that on a Thursday. This year the draft will be weird, but it’s already kinda lame outside of seeing who we pick, so no biggie.

  9. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    I could see the pats hiring a hacker

    It would be very Bucs esq to have something go wrong and miss turning in our pick.

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Well, at least we can’t turn in the wrong card, right? The Sean Farrell/Booker Reese fiasco was unbelievable, but was happy with Farrell, he was my favorite player on the Bucs for a few years.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    There will be no “wifi.” there will be cabled computers connected to dedicated, stable, secure T1 or fiber lines, with additional redundancy.

  12. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Uhhh, telephone conference call? Maybe?

  13. bucsfaninoregon Says:

    This just drives me nuts!!! You guys are all concerned over HOW the draft will be implanted- -as you should. But, you’re missing the big picture. WE ARE NOT DRAFTING FOR 2020!!!
    DO you guys even read the papers? Canada just announced something like a partial shutdown until a vaccine is available. The fact that the Dear Leader has promised opening up things by Easter is no more as ridiculous as expecting in a few months everything will go back to normal. There will not be a 2020 NFL season- -book it.
    Just work through this with me. Predictions of a viable and tested vaccine has been estimated to be 12-18 months- -if that is possible. Let’s say with the whole world working on this we come up with a vaccine in 6 months.
    On October 9th we announce a vaccine has been found effective. October 9th is the first month of the full season. No rookies have been acclimated. No FAs will have reported. No training camp and pre-season games have been played.
    So on October 10 the industry ramps up for massive world wide vaccine manufacturing. Currently, tens of millions of doses can’t be made over a weekend, so how long does that take?
    Starting October 10th we start vaccinating the world’s health providers, cops (etc.), and political leaders. How long will THAT take? Let’s say 2-3 months. 2-3 months from October 10th is Xmas and New Years. New year = 2021!
    Now vaccinate the older and vulnerable population (and me).
    Now we can get around to vaccinating the young and healthy athletes and general fan base. How long for that to happen? Until then, no large crowds, no organized team activities, etc. NO FOOTBALL UNTIL THEN!
    SO, for those of you that have followed me so far, what does it mean to the Bucs and the draft. HUGE meaning. We don’t draft to maximize TB12’s effect in 2020. We draft for our anticipated needs in 2021! What that means is if we need equally a quality OL and a quality RB we take one in 2020 and the other in 2021. If the top 4 OL’s are gone before the 14th pick, draft that quality RB and hope to pick up the OL in the 18 months before the start of the 2021 season. The obvious place for this is the 2021 draft. But, that takes a college season for 2020, and that’s not going to happen either.
    Sorry, but that is reality. Just like the color map of virus cases that shows Florida a bright red along with NY, California and Louisiana. Take care down there. 2021 will be here before you notice.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    @bucsfaninoregon: the United States, nit to mention the NFL, will not survive an 18-month shut down, period, end of discussion.

    There is *zero* guarantee of any sort that a vaccine will ever be produced. Where is the HIV/AIDS vaccine…that the entire world has been working on? Right. Stored in the fridge of a rainbow unicorn.

    Better we go with herd immunity. There are numerous scientists who claim the blanket stay-at-home orders while allowing people to congregate in food and drug stores is actually prolonging this situation.

    If that Politically Correct panty-waste nutcase to the north goes through with a partial shutdown, Canuckia will cease to exist in any meaningful fashion, and all citizens would be dangling from the gubmint teat.

    Is that what you want for America?

  15. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So, what if there is no vaccine developed for coronavirus? I don’t think there is a vaccine for HIV – just treatment.
    We can live with this situation and move forward with targeted quarantine strategies or we can live in fear .
    Grow some cojones, man.

  16. ColBucFan Says:

    The NFL is already sponsored by Microsoft. Setup MS Teams. Problem solved. No consulting fee required…

  17. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Do you not pay attention to the TV commercials. I get if you DVR and scroll through them.

    There are at least two companies competing with their HIV meds. Not a vaccine because the virus does not go away but it does become undetectable, and most importantly non transmittable. I’m not an expert but from what I’ve read both of these products are a simple pill a day and HIV becomes dormant.
    It’s never gone but as long as the patient takes one pill a day there are no ill effects. Technically though it’s not a vaccine because it only makes the virus dormant.

    Have you never wondered why Magic Johnson still looks great? What I can’t figure about that is Freddie Mercury of Queen fame died perhaps Magic tried the experimental versions early.

    The same genius docs who discovered this are now working frantically to find the cure/vaccine for Covid. And let’s be honest…HIV/AIDS was far before we had any acceptance of gay lifestyle. In fact preachers routinely claimed the gay deserved it because of their sinful ways. Society was not nearly as motivated as we are now. It’s one thing to let thousands of gay dudes die…quite another to watch EVERYBODY face death.

    I think any predictions are premature…but most folks believe first will come rapid testing…cheap enough to be done whenever someone shows up with an elevated temp. So everybody gets their temp taken EVERY DAY at work before being able to work. No temp…fine…temp…the instant test to make sure it’s not Covid.

    IMHO I think these tests are so far along that they will get brought up to scale fairly quickly. Price may not be an issue because as you suggest we can’t shut down totally for a year or more. We’ll simply have to eat the cost..which will still be cheaper than all this UE insurance.

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:


    BTW Forgot to answer you question…more concerned about your total lack of info about HIV/AIDS.

    So for sure I’ll take panty waist scientists over ill educated uninformed opinions from the right wing nut jobs

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Well for some reason my first post went into moderation…hopefully when it shows up it’ll be just ahead of my SECOND answer to Cobra.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    stpetebucsfan: in the late 80’s-mid 90’s, my company served over 1200 HIV/AIDS patients in four major FL markets, and I sat on the boards of numerous HIV/AIDS community networks. This was when the disease was a death sentence, and few people wanted anything to do with HIV/AIDS because of their ignorance.

    I have numerous infusion pharmacies, DME, high-tech nursing and three Hospices.

    I doubt there is much you can teach me about HIV/AIDS.

    When I say “my company”, I mean I was the managing partner of a series of LLC’s. I owned the company. I didn’t work for someone else. The investors included the preeminent HIV/AIDS physicians in those major markets. It is the reason I can live comfortably in early retirement in the tropical mountains of the Dominican Republic. I have not had to “work” for 20+ years.

  21. lambchop Says:


    You said what I wanted to say about HIV medication. It’s not a terminal illness anymore. You can survive with it, if it comes to that with the advances we have made with treatment.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    But there is no vaccine for HIV, and there may never be a vaccine for COVID-19.

    Society cannot make any sort of plans based on a future vaccine for *any* virus.