The NFL’s first all-remote draft made for a lot of entertainment

By Clara Facchetti
Medill Reports

A robe. A cellphone. A dog. Parents, kids and a large Arizona home. These are just a few of the funniest things that took place during the NFL’s record-breaking all-remote draft last week.

Live from his basement in Bronxville, New York, Commissioner Roger Goodell launched the NFL’s first ever all-remote draft, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on Thursday night. The 2020 draft became the most-watched in the NFL’s history, with over 55 million viewers in total, including 15 million for the first round, a 37% increase over last year, ESPN reported.

“To see the reactions I got from people I didn’t know, people I did know, family — it definitely struck a chord with people,” Goodell told the Washington Post in a phone interview.

The unusual setting gave NFL fans a view into their favorite coaches’ and prospects’ homes, which inevitably led to some very entertaining moments. Here are some of the funniest moments from the 2020 NFL draft:

1. Henry Ruggs III’s outfit choice

Selected by the Las Vegas Raiders for their very first NFL draft, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III chose to wear a robe to the event. His outfit delighted fans on Twitter, who commented on the wide receiver’s choice of casual wear.

Ruggs’ robe wasn’t only a fashion statement, but a way to promote donations from the company Old Spice, Darren Rovell reported.

2. Kliff Kingsbury’s home

Kingsbury’s spacious home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, became of one the most talked-about topics of Thursday evening. The Cardinals coach showed off his large living room and beautiful garden, leading Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to tweet: “I’m trying to have a crib like Kliff!”

3. CeeDee Lamb’s cellphone

With the 17th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys drafted wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Lamb zoomed in from his home for the occasion, sitting with his family and girlfriend. As the pick was announced, he was shown trying to snatch his phone back from his girlfriend’s hands, a scene that quickly went viral.

4. The kids!

ESPN’s impressive remote set up brought viewers into coaches’ and players’ homes, introducing them to their families. Online, fans enjoyed seeing the kids’ excitement. Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s teenagers broke quarantine boredom by wearing funny outfits, while Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ kids stole the show with their cheerful attitudes.

5. The parents!

If coaches’ kids brought some much-needed cuteness to the draft, players’ parents provided straight entertainment. From Javon Kinlaw’s dad ecstatic reaction as he watched his son get drafted by the 49ers, to Isaiah Wilson’s mom enforcing social distancing by removing her son’s girlfriend from the couch, parents made viewers laugh all over the U.S.

6. Roger Goodell’s wardrobe

Hosting a national event from your basement is no easy task, and Roger Goodell successfully delivered name after name during the three-day long NFL draft. Yet, the commissioner’s performance was quickly outshined by his wardrobe changes. Goodell opened with a suit, moved on to a sweater and wrapped the draft in a t-shirt.

7. Bill Belichick’s dog

Nike Belichick, the Patriots coach’s dog, became an internet sensation on Thursday evening. When the cameras turned to Belichick’s home as the Patriots announced their first pick, fans were excited to see Nike, a member of the Petriots. His Instagram account now holds over 15,000 fans.

Photo at top: NFL logo. (Photo by HENCE THE BOOM on Unsplash)
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