The first round of the first-ever virtual NFL draft took place on Thursday and it was interesting, to say the least.
The cameras turned to 60 young men who would potentially be picked and almost every NFL owner, coach, and general manager. The NFL was the first professional sports league to hold any event, so the NFL needed to do a good job in order to return the world to a sense of normalcy for a bit.
The NFL was successful in its approach to an event that the world has never seen before. Even the little things the NFL made sure to include such as passionate fans booing commissioner Roger Goodell through webcams which were displayed behind the commissioner. Viewers were able to see the reaction of their team’s draft choices at home when they heard their name called. Also on the TV behind Goodell fans from each NFL team would be displayed while the pick was being made.
Heisman winner and National Champion quarterback, Joe Burrow, was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals as Burrow will be able to continue to play in his home state of Ohio.
Ohio State defensive lineman Chase Young was selected second overall by the Washington Redskins. Young was listed as one of if not the most dominant defensive players in college football the previous season. Young joins a much improved Redskins defensive line with second-year defensive end Montez Sweat, as well as the young Alabama alumni in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. With the improved defensive line, many are saying the Redskins may show improvement from the previous year.
With the third pick in the draft, the Detroit Lions selected Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah which was questioned by many Lions fans but was an overall solid choice for a Lions defense that ranked 26th in the NFL the previous season.
With the next 6 rounds of the NFL draft still to come, it will be interesting to see if the NFL can continue the success they had from the first round.
With creating a sense of normalcy, the NFL was also taking part in giving back to the front line workers and first responders of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL Draftathon has already raised around $4 million towards relief efforts is one of many ways the NFL is giving back in this time of crisis. The Draftathon is donating to several organizations such as the American Red Cross, CDC, Feeding America, and many other great organizations that are intent on helping and stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Authorities continue to urge everyone to stay home and take the necessary precautions in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The NFL draft is one way to stay occupied while quarantining. The draft continues through the weekend.