NFL teams are preparing for the Thursday night's draft, but this year their war rooms look a lot different. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the , meaning packed draft rooms and in-person meetings with front offices are not possible The hope is that the draft will run smoothly, though many and with the online approach.
Anyone who has watched the draft knows it is a hectic time for the 32 franchises. Anticipating other team's moves, evaluating players, adhering to your squad's needs, and making sure you do it all before the clock winds down can be a bit stressful.
This year there is now the added layer of stress because it is all being done online.
To prepare, GMs and coaches have redesigned their work space so it fits their draft needs. Anyone working from home during quarantine knows the perfect setup is crucial in order to be productive at work.
By the looks of it, some GMs and coaches are more prepared than others. Let's take a look at (and judge) some of these home setups.
John Lynch, 49ers GM
Let's start strong with 49ers General Manager John Lynch. Six screens, three phones and an outlet are a great place to start for a successful at-home draft. I'm personally not surprised Lynch has a put together home office, as he's usually a put together guy. I give him extra points for having all his screen backgrounds on theme and matching -- it gives this setup a nice uniform feel.
My only critique is the size of the desk. Once the Cincinnati Bengals are on the board, and his binder, papers and research are out, that could get a bit crowded. Hopefully he has some other desks set up outside of the frame.
Kyle Shanahan, 49ers head coach
Kyle Shanahan took us for a tour of his entire home, walking us through his kids' homeschooling area, where his dog likes to chill and, finally, his new and improved home office.
He said his office looks a bit different than normal because the team's video guys came in to revamp it, and I have to say, it looks like he has all the screens and phones needed for a successful draft.
Dave Gettleman, Giants GM
Before you look at his setup, I want you to take a moment to just imagine what the Giants GM's space would look like. Got an image in your head? OK. It's much worse than that.
Gettleman looks like he dragged a chair from the dining room to a room in the house they barely use, took a table he found on the side of the road and thought, "Perfect, I'm done."
That one laptop with a crinkled post-it that I can assure you has been there for years is not exactly what I imagine when I think of a GM's draft setup. Gettleman has a lot more money than I do, and my setup puts his to shame. I will applaud the hand sanitizer, though, because it's important to keep your hands clean during this pandemic.
Andy Reid, Chiefs head coach
Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs are a very impressive team, but I am not that impressed by this setup. It's better than Gettleman's, but is that really saying anything?
My first reaction to this workspace is gloom. It's dark, it seems to be in a basement and it's clearly more of a workout room than an office. Reid at least seems organized in his approach, with the table ready with all the notes, but those two small screens don't seem ideal.
Tom Telesco, Chargers GM
This is more like it.
The TV in sight, multiple screens, a large work area, good lighting and a comfortable chair, including one to rest your foot on. The chair doesn't recline back, so personally it's not the ideal seat, but hey, whatever works for him.
I give him props for his decorations surrounding the setup, as well. The Chargers jersey on the moose and the NFL helmets are a nice touch that make it seem more like a draft room than just a random spot he dumped a couple computers on. Here's a tweet that proves my point (at Gettleman's expense. Oh well):
Sean McVay, Rams head coach
We don't have the best photo of his setup, but we have enough to judge.
The multiple screens are great, and will be useful at a time like this when there is a ton of information coming in. I mean, if I need more than one screen often, I feel like an NFL head coach on draft day should too.
Duke Tobin, Bengals GM
Pardon... is that a TV tray?
If you're the general manager of a franchise, even if it is the Cincinnati Bengals, you need something better than a TV tray to put your computer on. I don't care what the rest of the room looks like, this is bad enough that Tobin deserves to be called out.
Don't you want binders next to you while you're on the computer? Maybe some notes? Even a place for a pen? I have so many questions. The Bengals are expected to pick LSU quarterback, national champion Joe Burrow No. 1 overall, so I guess maybe they don't need a ton of notes.and
Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner
Jerry Jones, because of course he did.
Jones is worth billion with a"b." So $250 million for a boat is nothing.
Howie Roseman, Eagles GM
The Eagles' video department got his home office ready to go two years ago and now his home workspace is prepared for a virtual draft.
Roseman has a large space that looks well setup for a broadcast and the Eagles backdrop will make it feel more like a normal draft than a Zoom call.
H. Roseman said he had his home office equipped by the video dept. two years ago so he could watch film at all hours of the night; his workspace at home during past month has been comparable to his setup at NovaCare Complex.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) April 16, 2020
Matt Rhule, Panthers head coach
Matt Rhule seems to have a designated space that was already in his house before news of the NFL Draft going virtual happened. You can tell some GMs and head coaches had to barter with their family to make use of an already purposed space, but Rhule's spot looks like it was already designated as his office.
The space is clean and has some nice football touches in the decor, but I do have one criticism. Are you trying to tell me all those cords won't get caught on something while the chaos is happening?
OK, maybe I'm being a bit critical, but there are no sports to analyze, so I'm putting all my efforts into this.
David Caldwell, Jaguars GM
Now, THIS is a setup. Movie theatre size screen, comfortable chairs, multiple computers, a large table for all the binders and notes, and most importantly, snacks within reach.
This is more like what I imagine NFL GM's houses to look like.
Take notes Gettleman.
Doug Marrone, Jaguars head coach
The variety of chairs to choose from sticks out to me right away, because sitting in the same spot looking down at your computer for hours is less than ideal.
There's nothing overly impressive about this setup, but nothing too alarming either. Let's hope for Jacksonville's sake their draft picks are not as mediocre as this room.
Jon Robinson, Titans GM
The multiple computers are definitely giving him more points in my book, and those bigger ones in the back seem like they would be useful for the broadcast or keeping track of the players.
The table with the lamp has "makeshift" written all over it, but everyone has to make adjustments for the event so that's expected.
If the draft starts to get really stressful for Tennessee at least he has a couch right near him to take a breather on.
Eric DeCosta, Ravens GM
This setup seems to be very technologically advanced, with a system in place that makes it easy to track all available players and see who has already been drafted.
He notes that his favorite purple chair is in this room, so he does have somewhere comfortable to sit.
Because I, of course, have to critique something, I cannot ignore that mirror at eye level of the main desk. Who wants to stare at themselves for hours while working? Take that thing down for the next few days, trust me Eric
Shoutout to Chicago for giving us a before and after photo to show the progress the IT team made in the space.
I have to give it to the Bears, the attention to detail is fantastic. They nailed it with four monitors stacked two by two to take up less desk space, a light for the broadcast and a step-and-repeat to make the backdrop look professional.
The Falcons draft room is another one that doesn't look to elaborate but seems to have everything they need to carry out a successful draft.
The desk seems a bit small, but the helmet addition makes it look like the actual draft tables on location at the live NFL Drafts in the past.
I would also like to applaud every draft room with a ring light because watching poorly lit rooms for hours would not be fun.
Nick Caserio, Patriots director of player personnel
The Patriots are a historically secretive team. The coaches don't say much, the players don't say much and fans don't get too much about what goes on behind-the-scenes, so it's surprising we got anything from them ahead of the event.
Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach
On draft night we got to look at the space Bill Belichick was plotting, I mean drafting, in.
The typically minimalist, no nonsense head coach had a draft room that perfectly matched his persona. There's not one football related element in the room, and he's rocking an inside out cut off hoodie.
The whole thing is perfectly Bill.
Brandon Beane, Bills GM
This might be my favorite draft room. There's a full wall of Buffalo Bills wallpaper, full wall to keep track of the draft, multiple tables and chairs, plenty of TVs and computers. It's great.
The lighting will look great during the draft, the chairs look decently comfortable and the room is big enough that people won't be shoving into each other.
There must have been a sale on Vikings table cloths. Minnesota's draft room isn't my favorite, but all tables seem easily accessible, there are plenty of monitors, and it's on theme.
We don't get a great look at the Saints room, but what we see doesn't seem to bad. All monitors are in sight so it's easy to follow everything at once and the phone is right there for trade calls.
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
Commissioner Roger Goodell needed to revamp his home for the draft as well, and
The three-day, seven round NFL Draft will kick off on Thursday night, and we will likely get to see, and of course judge, more of these at-home setups.