NFL Draft 2020: Ravens’ John Harbaugh worried fully virtual draft could be hacked


While the coronavirus has already affected college basketball and the NBA in major ways, the NFL is trying to stand strong. The league will abide by the rules, which indicate large gatherings of people are prohibited, but it will not let the pandemic delay or cancel the 2020 NFL Draft. On Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league will hold a fully virtual draft with team personnel separately located in their homes. Goodell cited the “stay-at-home” orders issued by the government as a reason for the team facilities to remain closed. 

With this development, a whole new list of concerns are introduced — including that of cyber hacking. Most NFL teams will operate using video-conferencing services such as Zoom. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh knows that Zoom has had calls targeted by hackers, and he’s nervous about that happening during one of the most important events of the NFL season. 

“Yeah, big concern,” Harbaugh said during a conference Zoom call on Monday, via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun. “Every time I read something in, like, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times that talks about how messed up Zoom is, or some of these other deals … I immediately text it to our IT people, and [director of football administration] Nick Matteo’s one of those guys, and they assure me that we are doing everything humanly possible.”

In response to a string of hacking and harassment incidents on its platform, Zoom recently announced new security measures, including the introduction of passwords and waiting rooms for users on its free tier. Still, Harbaugh expressed concern about how the league will be able to avoid potential wrongdoers. 

“We’ll see what happens,” Harbaugh said. “I really wouldn’t want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that.”





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