GM Mickey Loomis breaks down the challenges of conducting a virtual draft

New Orleans Saints Executive V.P./G.M. Mickey Loomis is ready for his virtual draft. (Source: Mark LaGrange)
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Thursday night will be like no other for the New Orleans Saints organization. The Saints, along with 31 other NFL teams, will conduct a first ever virtual draft.

GM Mickey Loomis will be conducting the draft from his house, generator in-tow with bad weather possible Thursday. Sean Payton will be across town doing the same.

It’s a tough predicament to be in, but it’s the hand each team was dealt while dealing with the coronavirus.

“I think the one challenge is that you don’t have as much give and take with your entire staff, all of your scouts and coaches. There’s a lot of conversations that go on, a lot of nuance when you’re talking about a particular player, a particular prospect and the vision that you have for him on your team and so I think we miss some of that," said Mickey Loomis.

When they do pick, there will be a ton of options at No. 24 in the first round. This class is loaded at receiver.

“I think the most obvious thing is that there’s a lot of receivers at the top of this draft that are really good players and so that’s probably more than most years. I think that’s the thing that jumps out at you the most," said Loomis.

With Drew Brees possibly playing only one more season, and Tasyom Hill on a 1-year deal, could this be a year the Saints pick a QB.

“Yes, I think that that anytime you have a chance to get a quality quarterback prospect, regardless of your quarterback situation, you would like to take advantage of that. For us it hasn’t come. There has not been the match where we’re picking (in the area) with the prospect that we really like. So I think our approach is exactly the same this year. Look, if there’s someone there that we really like and have a vision for at the time we’re picking then we’re not afraid to pull that trigger," said Loomis.

The players picked by the Saints will be playing catch-up come late July, with the team announcing there will be no offseason, just training camp.

"It comes down to, hey, what’s your long-term vision for these guys? It’s not going to prevent us from taking someone that we have a long-term vision for, but we recognize that we may not get as much in year one as you would otherwise. I think that’s generally true. If we don’t have an offseason with these guys then it’s going to be harder for them, for any player, to contribute in year one than it would ordinarily," said Loomis.

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