The 2020 NFL Draft was certainly a unique experience for everybody, from fans like us to everyone in NFL front offices around the league and the draftees themselves. While most of those people are probably looking forward to things going back to what we’re used to seeing in 2021, there were some lessons learned that the Minnesota Vikings are going to apply going forward.
Vikings’ GM Rick Spielman got an opportunity to speak with Jim Rome on The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday, and he talked about some of the things that are going to change now that the Vikings and the other 31 NFL teams have had this experience.
Rome: What did you learn from the draft experience that you might apply to the draft in the future? In other words, do you feel like there are certain things you did this year because of the emergency that might actually become permanent changes?
Spielman: I think the best thing about it is when you’re able to get out of your comfort zone and have to come up with new ways of doing things and still trying to accomplish the same thing, it forces us to look at things and how we’re going to do it differently going forward. For example, the meetings went so smooth and so instead of flying the scouts in for our December meeting and our February meetings we’re going to do those all virtually now. So, the scouts will only come in at the end in the April meetings to get together with the coaches. But I think from an organizational standpoint, as you look through how we operated from a PR standpoint, from a Vikings Entertainment standpoint, how they were able to set up all the calls, I think it was a great experience to go through because of the successes we had with these experiences it’s going to make us more efficient down the road.
Spielman and Rome then went on to talk about the draft party that was going on outside of the Spielman house while all of the picks were taking place, which you can read more about from Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune if you haven’t already.
For all the concerns about what could have, potentially, gone wrong with the 2020 NFL Draft with everything that’s been happening in the world, the NFL and all of the teams pulled the entire thing off without a hitch. Again, I’m sure that starting in 2021 things will go back to the big gathering that we’ve become used to over the years. Since moving the draft from its old permanent home at Radio City Music Hall, it’s really become a major thing for the NFL with cities vying to host it like they would host a Super Bowl.
In the meantime, however, it’s good that the Vikings have taken some things away from this year’s process to make the franchise better and able to operate more smoothly going forward.