2020 NFL Draft: Analyzing the war rooms of GMs, head coaches ahead of virtual draft


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 2020 NFL Draft will be virtual, 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 GMs have already expressed issues with wifi and technical difficulties 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.

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Rich Eisen Show

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, 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Joe Burrow No. 1 overall, so I guess maybe they don’t need a ton of notes. 

Howie Roseman, Eagles GM

We don’t have a photo of his setup, but we know he has taken steps towards ensuring for a smooth draft. The video department got his home office ready to go two years ago and now his home workspace is prepared for a virtual draft.

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.





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