2020 Offseason Questions: How Much Will Teams Be Limited By Pre-Draft Visit Restrictions?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: How much will teams be limited by pre-draft visit restrictions?

As of two days ago, the NFL has now barred teams from hosting players and from air travel. For the moment, it doesn’t even appear as though teams will be allowed to host local prospects who can drive. Put simply, things are being clamped down.

At least face to face. The league is trying to do what it can to create contingencies, allowing teams to host prospects via video conference calls with prospects from remote locations, though there are restrictions on that. For example, no more than three can be conducted per week, and they are limited to only an hour.

This does not allow for more extensive meetings, as goes without saying. There will be no tours of the facility, and likely they will only encounter a limited number of members of the organization. It’s impossible to do a physical properly over the internet.

Teams will be going into the 2020 NFL Draft with less information than they have been accustomed to having in recent years. One can’t help but wonder if this will result in a higher number of ‘busts’, either because players are being drafted higher than that should or going to teams that are bad fits for them.

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