With the 2020 NFL Draft set for this upcoming Thursday through Saturday, there's still so many questions about how the draft will actually operate in these work-from-home times.
Typically one of the biggest spectacles in sports, complete with red carpets, flashing lights, and filled arenas, the draft will now be conducted virtually and remotely as the league adapts to current social distancing guidelines.
But while those questions still exist, fans can look to Friday night's WNBA Draft some a lot of the answers.
In case you missed it, the 2020 WNBA Draft went on as scheduled on Friday night, obviously with a much different look due to the coronavirus outbreak. There were some small hiccups with connectivity issues here and there, but the overall format worked well, and the NFL was sure to be watching.
Most of the broadcasts was run out of ESPN studios, with analysis for every pick. When the picks were made, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert would announce them from her home, and then hold up a jersey and congratulate the pick.
The top prospects, including New York Liberty No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu, had cameras and microphones set up in their homes so they could then be interviewed by Holly Rowe, who was also operating from a remote location. Ionescu and Rowe spoke over each other once or twice as there was a lag in the connection, but for the most part, these interviews worked well, even if some prospects had to use their cell phones to conduct their interviews.
These looks into the players' homes were the best part of the night. It's not new for some top prospects to not attend their drafts in person. In previous years, many players have elected to either be at their homes or at a party with family and friends to celebrate the occasion. But with all prospects being at home for the WNBA Draft, it provided much more of a look into these players' lives, as they still were able to celebrate the biggest moment of their lives with family around them, providing so much joy during this uncertain time.
Next week's NFL Draft will likely follow the same format, anchored by studio analysis with at-home interviews with the players. It's still a bit awkward for the commissioner to hold up a player's new jersey without the player being able to stand on stage and hold it with them, and who knows exactly what it was like for the teams operating behind the scenes, but overall, the WNBA Draft, even with some hiccups, set the standard for how the NFL draft should be able to operate.