Cleveland Browns prepare for communications obstacles in virtual draft

NFL Draft
Paul DePodesta

Paul DePodesta (FOX 8 file photo)

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The NFL is officially on the clock. The 2020 NFL Draft will look different as it goes virtual during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think honestly, the biggest challenge is more just ironing out communication,” said Andrew Berry, Browns general manager. “Outside of using video conferencing, a lot of the technology is very similar to what you would use if you were on site in your facility.”

Berry will be in Cleveland on Thursday at his home making the Browns selections. He will be connected with a dozen or so staff members via a communication line, including Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta.

“I do have an official draft phone here in my office, I have multiple screens, I have back-up generator, back-up internet just in case things go down,” DePodesta said.

The Browns have gone through multiple simulated drafts over the past week, including the league’s simulated draft on Monday. DePodesta said he believes the logistics of talking through a trade would be the hardest part of the virtual draft.

“If multiple teams are calling us at a particular spot and different people with the Browns are on the phone in different locations and then have to communicate it all to the group, it would just go a little slower than it would if we were all in the same room,” DePodesta said.

The Browns feel good about their set-up for Thursday and will be on the clock with the 10th overall pick in Round 1, barring any trades.

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