NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has received unanimous approval from his executive committee to hold the draft as scheduled next month.
With changes to the three-day event, the NFL decided to keep the draft on the same dates, April 23-25. Players, fans and the media are not there.
Goodell said in a memo to the clubs on Thursday that the NFL Management Executive Committee fully supported the plan despite a league order to close all team facilities to scouting coaches and staff until Wednesday.
“Apart from CEC, I have personally discussed the matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the end of the CEC,” Goodell said in the memo. “Everyone acknowledges that public health conditions are not entirely certain and we cannot be certain that we will choose a different date and are confident that conditions will be much more favorable than they are today. I also believe the draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you agree.
“Given the unique circumstances of our country today, the 2020 Draft clearly needs to be carried out in a different way. We have finished, canceled all public events, we will not bring prospects and their families to the Draft, and the draft itself will be produced and televised in a manner that reflects current conditions.
“Our staff is definitely concerned with the operational issues it presents, and our top priority is to put in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate at a level playing field to the draft is carried out in a manner that is fair to all clubs.All clubs should now do the necessary planning to carry out draft operations in a location outside your facility, with a limited number of the people who are there, and who have enough technology resources to allow you to talk inside, with other clubs, and have a draft headquarters. “
The NFL relocated pre-draft preparations to Las Vegas at the conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic and handled the draft in a studio setting. Players will be interviewed via video conference and other guests – college coaches and some NFL coaches and staff – are expected, using the same technology.
Pre-draft planning was thrown whack by the spread of coronavirus. Very few pro day workouts are held and several marquee players – including the supposed No. 1 selected Joe Burrow and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – not expected to be able to work out for scouts and general managers. Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner from LSU, did not consent to exercise at the NFL Scouting Combine but was formally interviewed by several teams in Indianapolis. Tagovailoa’s medical examination in Indianapolis lasted about 10 hours. He also met with teams on the scene there, but is scheduled to hold his pro day on April 9 in Tuscaloosa.
Instead of hosting players in headquarters, NFL teams visit them over the phone and video chat.
-Remove Level Media