Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll, left, and GM John Schneider during a Zoom press conference about the NFL Draft. ( screen grab)

Teams across the National Football League, familiar with the dreaded prospect of dropped passes or fumbled handoffs, are hoping dropped calls and missed connections over the internet aren’t the norm starting Thursday. That’s when the 2020 NFL Draft gets underway as a completely remote experience because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider are right in the thick of prepping for the most unusual draft of their 11 years together with the team. This week they shared some of the technical hurdles they’re addressing and what kind of remote draft rooms they’ve set up at home.

According to, Carroll and Schneider, as well as the team’s entire coaching staff, scouting department, and anyone else involved, will be working from home and relying on connecting through the same tech many of us are using to do our daily jobs.

But imagine instead of getting this blog post up from your basement (who does that kind of work?) you’re trying to trade for a pivotal player and the Zoom call audio goes haywire and the clock is ticking.

The Seahawks IT department has reportedly set Carroll and Schneider up with mini draft rooms at home โ€” there are multiple screens and phone lines. Schneider said he’s had “walls ripped up” in his house to ensure that his internet connection is up to the task.

“It’s definitely been a challenge, but everybody’s done a great job of recreating my dining room into a โ€” when you walk in the door, it’s the draft room,” Schneider said during a news conference on Tuesday, adding that he has what feels like 25 screens.

For his part, Carroll is more comfortable with seven screens and boards that wrap the room. And he has a separate room to do press calls. He’s hoping circuits don’t get overloaded with so much extra stuff plugged in.

“I kind of like all the activity,” he said. “We’ve got our land lines. We have got our cell phones, our backup cell phones, all kinds of stuff โ€ฆ It’s kind of cool. It’s all high-tech.”

What could go wrong?

The entire event, which is usually a fairly entertaining television spectacle, will be powered in part by Amazon Web Services, one of the league’s tech partners.

In a blog post Wednesday, Amazon said that AWS’ compute, networking, scalability, and security capabilities will help ensure that fans will still get to witness that moment when a college player’s name is called and the reactions associated around that player and team and NFL officials.

Through the seven rounds of the three-day Draft, AWS will help power over 100 live feeds, to create a seamless experience.

According to Amazon, the NFL sent 150 smart phones to top prospects, coaches, teams, and personnel with instructions on how to set them up and keep them running. During the Draft, AWS is hosting “always-on” streaming with capacity to support additional demand happening all at once.

“When ESPN and NFL Network cut to the live feed of any of the 150-plus available shots, there are no interruptions,” Amazon said.

AWS teams working remotely from their own “war rooms” will add another layer of complexity to the event.

“It’s going to be a fascinating experience,” Carroll said via Zoom this week. “We’ve had tons of drafts over our lifetime that will never be remembered like this one will be. It’s Wild Wild West figuring that out … and we’re ready to go.”

The 2020 NFL Draft starts Thursday and will air live on NFL Network, ESPN, and ABC. Round 1: Thursday, at 5 p.m. PT; rounds 2-3: Friday, at 4 p.m. PT; rounds 4-7: Saturday, at noon 9 a.m. PT.