Jamie Herrmann/Associated Press
The NFL draft is one of the league's biggest events of the year, but for all the glitz and glam of the event, it's terribly inefficient and slow. If Goodell wants to improve the event and sell it to a wider audience, the draft needs to be efficient and much faster—especially in the later rounds.
The current process involves teams calling in their picks to their representatives in New York at Radio City Music Hall. They write the names on the cards and give them to an NFL official for verification before they land in the presenters' hands. If the NFL wants to take the event on the road—and it should—this process just won't do.
In a world where real-time information on Twitter flows nearly unrestricted, draft picks should be announced as soon as the teams makes their decisions. There is no way to truly be surprised by a pick under the current system because tip picks are inevitably retweeted or posted on various media sites prior to the official announcements.
Goodell has to take matters into his own hands and speed up the process. Using voice calls is just too slow in today's world.
"It's like Paul Revere telling you who is coming to your town," said NFL Network host Rich Eisen, via David Barron of the Houston Chronicle (subscription required).
Everyone knows a better solution is an Internet-based system that feeds directly into the television broadcasts. The NFL may even need to slow things down somehow, but at least it wouldn't be so slow.
"The draft could be done via encrypted computer connections, where each team points and clicks like a fantasy draft, and the whole thing would be over in two hours," said Eisen. "Instead, it's a television show."
It's a television show, but it can be a better television show and a spectator event if Goodell makes the proper adjustments. By modernizing the draft, the NFL only needs a stable Internet connection wherever it chooses to take the event.
The NFL could host every round in a different city across the country if it wanted. Maybe the entire draft rotates to different locations every year and cities bid for it like the Super Bowl. Maybe the NFL starts selling tickets to the festivities.
A bigger, faster and more flexible draft would help the NFL further dominate televisions year-round.