ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In cutting out the middle man, the process of a team making a pick in the NFL virtual draft Thursday could be smoother than the old method.
Before, Broncos director of player development Matt Russell would call his team’s pick in to an on-site rep. The one-site rep would then physically turn the card in to a league rep, who would in turn hand it to commissioner Goodell.
Ticket boss Kirk Dyer was the on-site draft pick card presenter for years when the draft was held at New York City’s Radio Music Hall.
Come Thursday, the virtual draft will be one submit button fits all. Here’s how it would work for the Broncos if they stay at No. 15.
1. When on the 10-minute clock for their first-round pick, there will be 7 guys on a virtual screen: General manager John Elway, director of player personnel Matt Russell, head coach Vic Fangio, college scouting director Brian Stark, pro scouting director A.J. Durso, salary cap adminstrator Rich Hurtado and administrator Mark Thewes.
Once on the clock, it will pretty much come down to a three-man discussion between Elway-Fangio-Russell. Elway will make the final choice.
2. If a trade is to be made, it would be Russell, Elway’s top lieutenant, who would probably make the call to the GM of the team involved in trade.
3. Any one of the Elway 7 – but probably Hurtado -- can then fill out an electronic NFL Draft form that will have the round, overall pick number, player’s name, position, school and authentication password.
Once the form is filled out, there is a submit tab to hit. Once submitted the pick is made. No call to the on-site rep. He’s cut out. The pick is in.
4. If a trade is made, the agreed upon compensation is typed into the form and submitted.
5. The pick goes into an NFL Draft portal. All 32 teams and league office have access to this portal. Once the pick is posted, the next team is on the clock. In this case, it would be No. 16 Atlanta.
6. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will then read the first-round pick or picks Thursday from the basement of his Bronxville, New York home and the second- and third-round picks Friday. Two of his top league assistants, Dawn Aponte and Dave Gardi, will announce most of the selections in rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday.
And there you go. In short order, the Broncos’ first-round draft pick will go from cyberspace to a Zoom media call set up by public relations chief Patrick Smyth. Eventually, the Broncos drafted player will appear in the flesh at team headquarters.
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