Lions' IT Director Will Be in Winnebago in GM's Driveway for Entire NFL Draft

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

Detroit Lions executive vice president and general manager Bob Quinn speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

You may not know the name Steve Lancaster, but he just may be one of the most important members of the Detroit Lions organization during the NFL draft. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lancaster—who serves as the team's director of IT—will be "stationed in a Winnebago in [general manager Bob Quinn's] driveway for all hours of the three-day NFL draft, in case there are any technical issues. Lancaster will go home each night, then return to the RV for draft's resumption."

The Lions won't be the only team with unique at-home setups:

Tennessee Titans @Titans

First Look 👀: GM Jon Robinson's at-home, NFL Draft war room Shout out to our IT department. #TitansDraft https://t.co/7hPmfDfz59

Colleen Kane @ChiTribKane

Bears GM Ryan Pace said today he will draft in his dining room. Has 7 monitors and a cord running from his router down the stairs to his setup to make sure internet is running smoothly. Noted a hiccup the other day when his wife vacuumed and accidentally unplugged his monitors.

The 2020 NFL draft will be complicated, with the event going fully remote and digital because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be overseeing the proceedings from his basement, while teams are putting together elaborate setups for their general managers and scouts to help them communicate with the other 31 teams and league offices.

The league ran a mock draft with the teams on Monday to help iron out some of the glitches, and suffice it to say, there were issues:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

More on today’s mock draft technical glitch: The Bengals didn’t do anything wrong; wasn’t their fault. But the glitch resulted in a two-and-a-half minute delay, per source. https://t.co/q70MLZ14D4

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

I’m texting with multiple coaches and GM’s who are on this mock draft call and everybody is saying the same thing which is band width is a problem. There are many communication issues.

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

Text from a GM during this mock draft “there are early communication issues because 32 of us GMs are on conference call and we didn’t hit mute. Sounds awful”

But there will also be safeguards in place, given the unique circumstances:

Chris Burke @ChrisBurkeNFL

There also will be multiple layers built in for selection - each team will have three people capable of entering a pick. So, for example, the GM loses his connection, someone in player personnel can handle it.

Goodell told Peter King of NBC Sports that holding the draft during such trying times around the country will be about more than football:

"We do believe a lot of people are going to watch this, maybe more people than ever watched the draft before. But that's not how we're going to judge this. I think it's going to be judged by, can we demonstrate that we adapted? We worked from home. We did something that was really important in the context of our preparation for the season by filling out rosters with draft-eligible players, and doing that in a way that also gave back to our communities through our Draft-A-Thon. And also highlighting some of the people who've been the real heroes in our communities."

That means that Lancaster will be on duty from his winnebago, making sure Detroit's draft process goes as smoothly as possible.