Figure on a larger consumption of coffee and unhealthy snacks. There will be many more yawns, plenty of eye-rubbing ... and a whole lot of intrigue.
"It will be a late night Thursday and Friday," Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said to reporters about the ramifications of the 2010 NFL Draft's new three-day schedule. "(But) I'm looking forward to it. I think the format will be interesting."
Interesting is a word being tossed around quite a bit regarding the draft's radical shift from a Saturday-Sunday event to a marathon running from Thursday night through Saturday.
From the perspective of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives, it's all about trying to grow the television audience for NFL Network and ESPN. Bigger ratings, of course, can translate into increased advertising revenue, while also achieving the mission of keeping the league constantly in the forefront of the nation's sporting conscious.
From the perspective of the men manning the NFL draft boards, it's all about having additional time to think and strategize between the first two rounds. "I like the (extra) time to think about your most important picks," Ireland said.
So do others in his line of work.
Like coaches who believe they never have enough time to prepare a game plan, who grab for every additional second they can to find even the smallest edge over an opponent; general managers are thrilled with the idea of effectively being able to hit a re-set button after Round 1.
Rather than being forced to make quicker decisions about what they'll do in Round 2 (and, before last year, the third round) on the same day they're executing their first-round pick, teams now will make only their first-round selections on Thursday night. Then they'll have overnight and a full day to prepare for the next two rounds on Friday night, as well as another long break before the start of the fourth round on Saturday.
"In some ways, it's similar to when you play on Monday night and you have all day to kind of get anxious and keyed up, that hurry-up-and-wait type of atmosphere before you get to game time," New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis said.
You can bet that Loomis and others overseeing the draft for their respective teams will utilize those bonus hours to sort through everything that transpired in Round 1. Not only do they have the opportunity to gain a better handle on their own situation, but will also have a chance to more thoroughly study the actions of other teams.
"I'm interested to see how it works," Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "I'd love to have that first pick of the second day (the Eagles pick fifth in Round Two) -- where you can sleep on it, re-gather your thoughts, which you normally don't get to do. I don't think (the new format) is a bad thing."
Said New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, "You're picking 22nd, you don't know what 21 teams are going to do ahead of you, so you recalibrate. This year, there will be an opportunity (to recalibrate) after the first round, there will be an opportunity after the (third) round, and that will be different. I don't mean to say, 'Well, we gave this guy this grade and now we think he's something else,' but I think your draft strategy and how you view the board -- especially when we have three picks in the second round -- that may change. Who knows?"
One prevailing theory is that the format change will likely have little or no impact on teams that traditionally draft well. San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, whose club falls into this category, insisted "there will be absolutely no difference" in how he approaches a three-day draft compared with the two-day version.
However, teams that historically struggle with the draft might actually benefit from the longer pause between the first and second rounds because they'll be able to do what might not come as naturally to them with greater time constraints -- clean up their jumbled boards and perhaps refocus on players they might have otherwise overlooked in the second round.
"I think this aids teams that are not as organized, that year after year probably don't do as well in the draft," said Buddy Nix, whom the Buffalo Bills hired as general manager to help repair the poor drafting that has led to a 10-year playoff drought. "Friday night will be like getting ready for the first round and second round. It starts over because you've got all day to look at your board. You should be able to assess and meet, discuss (the prospects) again, and get them in the right order."
The new format also is expected to promote more trading. Deals that, in the past, might not have been made because teams either didn't have the time to put them together or weigh the pros and cons before pulling the trigger, have a better chance of happening.
The exceptional depth of this year's draft should be another factor in encouraging teams to attempt to improve their positioning in the second and third rounds, because that's where better values are expected to be found.
"We're going to have a full day on Friday that we didn't have before," Loomis said. "And a full day is a lot of opportunity to make calls, and you would think that that's going to lead to some deals."
Added New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, "Our thinking is there will be more of those trades going into Friday (night) and back into Saturday as well."
Belichick said the Patriots already have drawn plenty of trade inquiries for their three second-round choices (44th, 47th, and 53rd overall).
They'll likely receive more once the draft begins, assuming they haven't dealt any by then.
"I can't imagine (otherwise) because that's usually the way it is when you have multiple picks after the draft just stopped at a point, and you've restarted, whether that be at the third round or fourth round in previous years," Belichick said. "Those were pretty active rounds in terms of trades and movement."
By the end of the week, activity, as it applies to the draft, could have a whole new meaning.