The 49ers and the rest of the NFL are taking a page from your fantasy football team.
All 32 teams will be in a mock-draft lobby of sorts when the NFL holds a virtual walkthrough of the draft on April 20 -- three days before the first round is set to be held -- in order to suss out any potential tech issues, 49ers president Al Guido revealed in an interview with Brian Berger on the “Sports Business Radio” podcast.
.@49ers President @AlGuido tells me on @SBRadio that all 32 @NFL teams will conduct a mock draft prior to the @NFLDraft on April 23rd. This will allow teams to work out any tech challenges & have a better sense for this virtual draft. Full interview: https://t.co/oolQyMyGdm #NFL pic.twitter.com/BxGzSkNZo2— SportsBusinessRadio (@SBRadio) April 14, 2020
“[We'll] work out whatever kinks there are, and get on the phone the next day (to discuss)," Guido said (H/T 49ers WebZone).
One can dream that a buttoned-up NFL executive -- who isn’t technologically challenged -- would follow in the footsteps of Mock Draft Ruiner Stefan Heck by making some truly inane picks, but Berger clarified on Twitter that the mock draft will “re-do” the 2019 draft.
The 2020 NFL Draft still will be held over three days from April 23 through 25, but it will be conducted entirely online due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It originally was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas ahead of the Raiders’ first season in Sin City.
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will announce picks from his basement rather than a lectern atop a stage, and 58 of the top prospects will be able to virtually introduce themselves to their new teams and fan bases. Pre-draft interviews and visits have been conducted online since the NFL barred in-person visits with prospects in mid-March.
The league hopes the kinks are worked out by the time the NFL draft broadcasts begin on April 23, but any footage that exists of tech issues during the April 20 mock draft undoubtedly will be more entertaining than the final product.