The NFL Draft will go on as scheduled, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but there will be changes made to make sure everyone stays safe.
Many things are changing in 2020, however, the dates for the NFL Draft is not one of them.
The 2020 NFL Draft was slated for April 23-25. It was announced Thursday the dates will remain the same, via Commissioner Roger Goodell in a memo to all 32 NFL teams. Precautions and self-distancing will take place. There will be a new format according to Goodell’s memo.
“We will not be bringing prospects and their families to the Draft, and the Draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions,” Goodell said through the memo.
While the NFL Draft experience will be different for the players, this isn’t the only concern for others around the league. Scouts are now dealing with less time with prospects, especially with facilities closed and Pro Days canceled. Despite the challenges, Goodell claims the league will make sure this process will be fair amongst all teams.
“Our top priority is putting in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate on a level playing field so that the Draft is conducted in a way that is competitively fair to all clubs,” Goodell said in memo.
All teams will be going through this together. It will be interesting to what risks teams will make. Will prospects with recent injuries or health issues fall in the draft due to team’s inability to bring in players during this time? Will scouts rely more on what they’ve see on college highlight reels with limited time visits? While these are just a few challenges, Goodell seems confident the NFL’s Draft staying on schedule will be good for the league.
“There is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today,” Goodell said in memo. “I also believe that the Draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large.”