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  Video chatting with draft prospects is nothing new for NFL teams. It once was part of a process that included having a maximum of 30 prospects visit team facilities, attending college pro days, and staging individual workouts. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, however, virtual face-to-face conversations are now the only kind the league will permit as clubs do their homework for the April 23-25 draft. To give a sense of how much meeting with prospects matters, the Bills drafted three of the 30 who reportedly visited their facility last year: defensive tackle Ed Oliver, tight end Dawson Knox, and linebacker Vosean Joseph. The sessions generally cover the same ground as they did before the health crisis. Player-personnel types and coaches seek to get to know as much as they can about the prospects, personally and football-wise.

Position coaches gauge their football acumen by showing them diagrams of plays, which can be tricky in a video-conferencing environment where imaging is reversed, and discuss schemes. "It's one thing when you get on with somebody from the front office who wants to talk background and stuff, that's pretty easy," Temple center Matt Hennessy told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's more challenging when you get on with a coach who wants to talk scheme as well, because then they have to pull up the whiteboard for FaceTime...Things will be flipped through the camera. "Communication becomes a little more difficult. I guess overall, it's not too much different from doing it in person, there's just that barrier. I'm in my living room and the coach is at his house, too, so it seems like a casual setting, but at the same time, it's still a job interview." - Buffalo News

(DS#2 C) rJr/2020 C Matt HennessyTemple
News Source: Buffalo News



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