When an NFL team is eliminated from Super Bowl contention, its players get to go home and heal their tired, damaged bodies. For a team’s front office staff, the work is just beginning. Weeks after the final whistle in the Super Bowl, free agency begins. Soon after that, there’s the NFL Draft. Though the non-playing season in pro football is longer than most other sports (February to September, an agonizingly long stretch for fans of the game), to call it an offseason is a misnomer. If football has an offseason, it lasts for a few weeks in June and not beyond.
The 2012 NFL Draft begins tomorrow evening and continues through the weekend, which means that today is one of the most hectic days that an NFL front office staff will face all year. Draft boards are being finalized, trades are being discussed and the coffee and Red Bull are most certainly flowing.
Every NFL team has a “war room,” an area where the people who make decisions for the team (from the owner and general manager down to the position coaches and scouts) congregate prior to and during the draft. Though picks are submitted in person at Radio City Music Hall in New York City during the draft, the decisions are made at each team’s campus and communicated to low-level staff on site in NYC.
In the video below, Chargers general manager AJ Green shows off his team’s war room and talks about about how his front office staff approaches a draft. It’s a fascinating look at how the entire process works and it really shows how much thought goes into every decision made on draft day (which makes the bizarre picks and trades that seem to happen every year even more puzzling).