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NFL likely to conduct virtual mock draft ahead of draft

As the NFL and its 32 teams edge closer to the 2020 NFL Draft, more decisions are being made and more details are coming to the forefront in terms of how the first fully virtual selection process will work.

The draft -- which takes place April 23-25 -- will proceed with no potential pauses in the process, or timeouts, despite some concerns about technical difficulties as it's been determined there are multiple ways to communicate during the draft, including an open conference call line between every team, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday.

In an attempt to further alleviate such concerns, the league and all 32 teams are expected to conduct a mock draft ahead of the draft, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Concerns emerged in particular on Tuesday with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff saying he hoped for a bit of leeway during the selection process in the event technical issues arose.

"It was determined that there should be no technological issues standing in the way of a team getting a pick in, so, timeouts [are] out the window," Garafolo said Tuesday on Total Access.

Garafolo on Wednesday offered a slight clarification on the no timeout policy. Garafolo explained that if there's a trade going down and a major technical issue occurs (i.e. power outage at a GM's home), the league will use discretion to allow for more time to complete the transaction.

The league also is expected to have one that will be a dress rehearsal of sorts as the teams prepare for the virtual draft.

The mock draft, Pelissero said, would come in addition to multiple system checks with many teams expected to have their general manager's houses as the hub of their respective drafts.

The checks are designed to make sure "everyone is up to speed," before the draft, Pelissero said.

The virtual draft is a product of the NFL, like the rest of the world, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo on Tuesday informing all teams that the draft would go on as a fully virtual selection process "with club personnel in separate locations and able to communicate with one another and Draft headquarters by phone or internet," Goodell's memo read in part.

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