As part of an occasional series, Fanspeak will offer tips and best practices for its wildly popular and first-of-its-kind On The Clock draft simulator.
Today’s topic: Bad news for all trade-crazy NFL draft fans: There might not be many this year due to the unusual circumstances of the draft.
The then-San Diego Chargers took Eli Manning of Mississippi with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. But Manning didn’t want to play there, so a deal was worked out with the New York Giants, who drafted N.C. State’s Phillip Rivers with the no. 4 pick. The two QBs were swapped, the Giants also gave up a third-round pick and a first- and fifth-round pick in 2005, and history was made.
Now, imagine that entire trade taking place over Skype. Or FaceTime. And all those involved in the trade were on separate connections from their home offices, where they might or might not have had quick access to all the information they needed.
If that’s what was going on in 2004, then Manning might have been a Charger for the next decade or so.
But that’s the reality of the 2020 NFL draft, as the global pandemic has forced the NFL to hold a virtual draft April 23-25. Even before the announcement, speculation was mounting on how the safety restrictions would impact the draft.
And now there’s a growing sense from NFL personnel and draft analysts that trades may be scarce this year because of the virtual setup.
A record 40 draft-day trades took place last year. This year? That tally might be cut in half, or more.
Here’s what’s being said:
A theory I have on the #Colts and the Deforest Buckner trade: Indy traded their first round pick, knowing the draft may be pushed online due to the spread of the corona virus and instead get a for-sure all pro talent with the pick #2020NFLDraft #NFL
— Dalton Feely (@dfeely14) April 6, 2020
Some recent headlines include:
While it’s tempting to say “yes” to all those 4-for-1, computer-generated trades while using the On The Clock simulator, you probably have to decline those offers this year if you want a more realistic draft experience.
That means, at some point, you gotta stop trading the farm to move up to take Chase Young. Not gonna happen, ever, especially this year.
Jake Rigdon (email@example.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.