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NFL working with EA Sports to create virtual reactions by prospects during the draft

Apr 3, 2020 at 4:46 PM--

Here's an interesting tidbit about the upcoming NFL Draft sent to me by Patrick Tulini, and I'm not sure what to think of it. Apparently, the NFL is working with EA Sports, the company responsible for the popular Madden NFL franchise, to create virtual moments depicting prospects walking out onto the stage and interacting with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by an NFL team.

News of the plan came from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, as the league tries to find ways to entertain television audiences while observing social distancing.

Draft prospects will even be able to provide input on how their virtual selves react with the virtual Goodell.

The plan is probably a good one, given the popularity of the Madden NFL franchise. Incoming rookies often look forward to seeing themselves in the game for the first time, so this will offer each prospect an early preview.

The NFL has to reformat the entire draft amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the massive event initially scheduled to take place in Las Vegas has already been canceled, the draft will still be televised from April 23-25, a decision that was recently criticized by an uncharacteristically passionate Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Draft prospects won't be gathered in a green room, as is typically the case. They will each be in remote locations, and the NFL plans to provide the equipment to capture their reactions after hearing their names called. Typically, these moments were captured using the smartphones of friends or family and posted on social media.

The nice aspect of the plan with EA Sports, as noted by Rapoport, is that each prospect will be able to choose a high school that will receive a $2,500 donation to its football program.

What do you think of the plan to partner with EA Sports to mimic the reactions by draft prospects as if they were all there on stage in Las Vegas? Leave a comment below.

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