Roger Goodell Is Still Testing His In-Home Tech for Today’s NFL Draft

By A.J. Katz 

While most live sports programming has been scrapped for the foreseeable future due to concerns over Covid-19, the 2020 NFL Draft is still taking place tonight.

Sports fans are thrilled, to say the least.

Coverage of this year’s draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and will be streaming live on and social media platforms. Round 1 begins at 8 p.m. ET.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke remotely with GMA’s Robin Roberts in an interview this morning about the different setup of this year’s draft (it will be a virtual event for the first time), why it was important to carry on with the draft amid the pandemic and shares a message to players.

“The draft has always been about hope. But this year with all that’s going on and our society and around the globe, we need more experiences together and we need that ability to look forward and maybe have a distraction from all that we’re going through,” said Goodell. “We’ll have over 200 remotes around the country. It will be a way to socialize and bring people together and that’s what the NFL does and so I think we’ll be able to bring a great deal of optimism, not just to our fans but to the fact that businesses are continuing to go forward and operations are going forward.”

How will it work?

Each team will be on a videoconference together—and since team facilities are closed—the decision-makers will gather in a remote version of the war rooms to analyze and discuss their picks before passing it along to the commissioner who will make the announcement.

Top prospects, including this year’s likely No. 1 pick, LSU QB Joe Burrow, were sent cameras and equipment to capture their real-time reactions to the big moment.

Goodell said his own home setup will have “three people in here with me and it worked pretty well last night. We were testing some of the technology. So I think we’re ready to go.”

NFL comms chief Brian McCarthy tweeted it out:

Goodell also gave Twitter followers a tour of what his makeshift studio will look like:

Specialists have also been working overtime to make sure that there’s enough broadband and digital security for the high-profile and highly watched event.

This year’s draft will also include a Draft-A-Thon to raise money for Covid-19 relief charities.

“We want to pay tremendous respect to our healthcare workers, our first responders, all the people who have been just heroic in doing such great things in the community,” Goodell said. “The NFL family itself just crossed $80 million in our Draft-A-Thon and that’s been going up rapidly, so we expect to be able to generate with our fans and NFL family collectively a great deal of money that can go to help people in need right now.”

Here’s a look at the GMA’s NFL draft segment from this morning, which, in addition to the Roberts-Goodell interview also includes reporting from ABC News’ T.J. Holmes: