Despite commissioner Roger Goodell’s insistence on Thursday night, the 2020 NFL draft is not virtual. (Shout-out to Ringer copy chief Craig Gaines, who nearly popped a blood vessel upon the umpteenth mention of the word. Words have meaning, people.) The term Goodell was searching for was “remote.” It was a real draft, with real players, and real coaches and team executives. They just weren’t in Las Vegas, where the draft was originally supposed to be held. Instead, thanks to social-distancing measures enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they were scattered across the country. That meant that thanks to the magic of webcams and Zoom, we got a look inside many of these über-rich men’s real homes. And boy, was that real fun.
The house we saw the most of was Goodell’s—the broadcast cut to the commissioner in his basement as he announced each pick. Truthfully, it’s a fine basement. It’s not as lavish as you’d expect for someone who makes $32 million annually, but it seems cozy. My one criticism is that it looked like a TV set designed for someone playing commissioner: a little too homey and filled with things like an NFL 100 book, many footballs, and a perfectly folded American flag. Goodell showed us the sanitized version of himself.
Roger Goodell for sure makes you take your shoes off when you walk into his house. pic.twitter.com/U0Ih5maZVa— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 24, 2020
Many coaches and GMs, however, did not sanitize anything. In some cases, that meant we got a peek at a luxurious lifestyle few of us could even dream of. In others, the live check-in only made the person seem more relatable. (I’m looking at you, Bruce Arians.) Still others had downright bewildering things going on at their homes.
Now that the picks have been made and grades have been assigned, it’s time to break down what we really care about: these beautiful, wondrous, and sometimes strange abodes. Here’s a quick power ranking of the 10 most interesting dwellings we saw in the first round of the NFL draft, based on aesthetics, coziness, and luxuriousness.
10. Zac Taylor
Zac Taylor’s looks like he’s the manager of a car rental place pic.twitter.com/vUSbyF5g3g— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) April 24, 2020
With his team picking no. 1, Taylor had the distinct disadvantage of being on the clock first, when the maximum amount of eyeballs were glued to their screens. But man, this setup didn’t do him any favors. For starters, he had the Bengals backdrop behind him, but whoever was filming him decided to shoot from the side angle. The desk seems fine, but that carpet is an optical nightmare. Overall, Taylor projects the vibe of someone who’s about to announce his candidacy for city council. I can’t imagine that look inside his coach’s office instilled a ton of confidence in new franchise QB Joe Burrow.
9. Joe Judge
joe judge drafting from a classy porn set pic.twitter.com/pKAOqXmZ9n— 83rd ranked esports dfs player in the world (@peteroverzet) April 24, 2020
I have to be honest, I’m more confused about Joe Judge now than I was before the draft. We know little about the new Giants head coach except that he’s so dedicated to football that he says his wife lives like “a widow” during the season. Looking at this room, it’s hard to believe that he even has a wife. What’s up with the lighting arrangement? Why is the ceiling so high? Why does he have two chairs set up like they were in an office lobby instead of a couch? Someone post this to r/malelivingspace.
Luxuriousness: 4 (for the art only)
8. Bruce Arians
It would be great if Tom Brady just walked into Arians’ house right now. pic.twitter.com/cNobYeLcyi— Lucy Burdge (@LucilleBurdge) April 24, 2020
Was Arians drafting from inside his home or outside on his porch on Thursday? ESPN seemed to think he was outside, and the floor tile would seem to indicate he’s just chillin’ in the warm Florida night. But from the camera angle, the layout looks like something that could exist only in a home’s interior. Truly a case of Schrödinger’s beret. Arians seems to be doing great, though, which is what you’d expect for a coach who just upgraded from Jameis Winston to Tom Brady.
7. Jon Gruden
Way too many people in Gruden’s house pic.twitter.com/geFglWc9Wf— Noah Osen (@NoahOsen) April 24, 2020
Too many people in the house? Check. An exposed draft board? Double check. A son who’s probably been fed a steady diet of Muscle Milk and All-22 tape? I mean, look at this shit. I want nothing to do with this, but I’m happy to know this is how Gruden lives.
6. Mike Vrabel
I'd read 10,000 words each on every person in Mike Vrabel's house pic.twitter.com/MTZXP3QDej— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) April 24, 2020
Let’s get it out of the way: Poop guy is not real. Most likely, it was just someone wearing light pants, and the camera caught them at the wrong time. What is real, however, is the Titans coach’s offspring, who decided to have Halloween in April. (We hope.) Vrabel seems like a Serious Football Guy, but letting your kids dress up like Joe Dirt and a powder-blue version of the Green Man and stand behind you on national TV is supremely chill. I dig it. The Titans are winning the Super Bowl.
5. Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick’s draft room, via ABC pic.twitter.com/Sw0FKOJqkS— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 24, 2020
Maybe Belichick traded out of the first round because he didn’t want people to see his home. Maybe it was because his team has many holes and he thought he could get equal value in the second round. Either way, ABC cameras captured the Patriots coach’s Nantucket house—and Bill looks like he’s set up pretty good on the island. The map is a really nice touch. Let’s hope the internet on the island holds up for the rest of the weekend.
4. Andy Reid
Didn’t get a good look at the house, but this situation is as cozy as it comes. Fresh off his first Super Bowl win, Andy is living it up in one of his trademark party shirts. Was he drinking a black-and-tan? A milkshake? A root beer float? Does it matter? Just salute a true king when you see one.
Aesthetics: 8 (for the shirt)
Coziness: 8 (for the shirt)
Luxuriousness: 8 (for the shirt)
3. Mike Zimmer
Coolest coach in the Biz! Take a look at coach Zimmer’s draft room. Things look a little different this year. pic.twitter.com/pr99F5Yenb— MZFOUNDATION (@ZimFoundation) April 23, 2020
I’ve never stepped foot in Minnesota, which I’m sure is a fine state. So I turned to my colleague Meg Schuster, who hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, for her opinion. “I like the general aesthetic—cabiny feel, very homey—but the custom fireplace grill feels a bit too flashy for Minnesota,” she said. Perhaps it’s too flashy for the setting, but not for this ranking.
2. Kliff Kingsbury
Who knew the coach with the movie star looks also had a movie star house? On a night when most coaches were confined to a corner of their basement (or wherever Joe Judge was), Kingsbury came out looking like, well, a king. This doesn’t seem like a house a football coach would own—it looks like a place where Drake would film a video. If Joe Burrow is feeling worse about his situation after seeing Zac Taylor’s house, Kyler Murray should feel the exact opposite.
1. Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones’ draft room is on his $250 million super-yacht. Now that’s a super-flex. pic.twitter.com/ZJwgrUcehX— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) April 24, 2020
When I first saw Jerry’s room, I thought that it belonged on a super-expensive yacht. Turns out that it’s because it actually belongs on a super-expensive yacht. While most coaches and GMs tried to dress up a small space in their single-family home, Jones spent draft night on Bravo Eugenia, a $250 million yacht he purchased in 2019. We saw only one part of the 357-foot vessel; we didn’t glimpse its gym, spa, or “plunge pool,” whatever that is. But we do know that Jerry Jones is exactly who we thought he was, and that made this whole virtual—sorry, I mean remote—draft worth it.