Should Teams Panic About Online NFL Draft Being Hacked?

Apr 9, 2020, 10:33 AM
Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines during the AFC Divisio...
Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NFL Draft is one of the few sporting events going on as scheduled — albeit a few tweaks like doing it online only.

The online portion is a huge change for the draft. The coaches, scouts, general managers, and others involved will be in a different room to communicate. This means that a lot of these conversations very well could take place over a video conferencing service like Zoom.

There have been issues with Zoom all over the news lately with meetings getting hacked. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is worried about that happening to the NFL Draft.

“Yeah, big concern,” Harbaugh said during a predraft conference Zoom call Monday. “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.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he 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.”

NFL coaches are a different breed of people. They work around the clock, give vague answers in press conferences, and get very concerned about giving away too much information.

Plus, given some ages of these staff members, how many use this type of technology regularly. Maybe there is a concern of not muting the chat and spilling the beans on their draft strategy accidentally, or not clicking the right setting to make a video call private.

The NFL is doing a practice draft virtually to make sure the real thing that will be televised to millions of people goes as smoothly as possible.

Is Paranoia Founded?

KSL Unrivaled hosts Alex Kirry and Scott Mitchell are totally buying this as a possibility. Coaches and teams should be cautious in protecting draft intel.

NFL teams are always looking for some advantage, it was 13 years ago that the New England Patriots were caught videotaping the New York Jets during pregame of a regular-season game.

Then there was the allegation later that season that said the Patriots were filming the St. Louis Rams during its Super Bowl walk-through. There was no evidence of the latter but the end result was the loss of New England’s first-round draft pick.

So, teams probably should be cautious of any shady actions.

“This is something to be paranoid about we know that sports are not above stealing stuff from each other,” Kirry said. “Hacking somebody’s war room is a real possibility in 2020.”

Mitchell would not be surprised if teams in the past have tried to secretly acquire intel.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if people have tried to bug rooms. There is all kinds of nefarious gamesmanship things going on in the NFL Draft,” Mitchell said. “Teams are calling players to keep them occupied and giving out disinformation through the process.”

“I will give you one name: Bill Belichick. He would try anything he possibly could to get information intel on anyone.”

If we could all get a look behind the scenes in the war rooms would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear those conversations and fights that go into an NFL team placing a tremendous amount of faith into who they are picking to shape their team for the future.

Odds of anyone hacking these meetings are probably low when considering the NFL is a multi-billion company with its tools and resources. Also, what benefit is there to really gain by seeing what the draft board of an NFL team looks like?

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

KSL Unrivaled

Jeremy Mauss

Utah Football Eyes Winning Third-Straight Pac-12 Championship

During the first day of spring football, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham preached about winning a third straight Pac-12 title.
22 hours ago
Utah athletic director Mark Harlan...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan: I Am Tired Of Outside Forces Creating Narratives Involving Utah, Our Conference

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan set the record straight on the Pac-12 media rights negotiations and why he chose to speak up.
12 days ago
Jeremy Mauss

Can Utah Jazz Build Dynasty With Draft Picks?

The Utah Jazz must get into the NBA Draft lottery if they want to improve quickly and compete for an NBA title.
30 days ago
Jeremy Mauss

Gov. Spencer Cox Is Optimistic Utah Can Land NHL Or MLB Franchise

Can Utah support another pro sports franchise?
1 month ago
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox gives his report on the Utah Jazz to the KSL cameras before the Jazz game...
Jeremy Mauss

Is Will Hardy The Best NBA Coach? Utah Governor Spencer Cox Thinks So

Spencer Cox talked about Will Hard and Utah Jazz All-Stars.
1 month ago

Unrivaled: What are the odds… Lauri Markkanen Wins The Three-Point Contest?

Can the Jazz All-Star Lauri Markkanen light it up in the three-point contest?
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Should Teams Panic About Online NFL Draft Being Hacked?