Up until recently, nothing had been official from the NFL about the future of the 2020 NFL Draft. But on Thursday night, the league issued a memo noting that the Chief Executive Club voted unanimously that the draft would indeed be held on the days previously scheduled, from April 23-25.
That may well be the biggest commonality to the draft as it was intended to be and the draft as it will be. In the memo sent from commissioner Roger Goodell, he also confirms some of the other ways in which the draft will inevitably be affected by the coronavirus. In addition, he notes that the decision not to change the date was in part based on the reality that they can’t know if things will be better at a later date.
The full memo from Roger Goodell: pic.twitter.com/Nnur7RdBxX
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 26, 2020
“Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 Draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way”, the memo reads. “Already, we have cancelled all public events, 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 our current conditions”.
It had previously been reported that the league intended to shift the draft to a studio setting that would not be held in Las Vegas, as had been the plan. Presumably, Goodell would ‘host’ the event in some form or fashion, and feed from teams’ ‘war rooms’, or whatever they might be, would be interspersed into the broadcast.
The memo goes on to note the importance of establishing guidelines going forward that assures that all teams under these unusual conditions operate on a level playing field. “All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct the Draft operations in a location outside of your facility”, it goes on, “with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with Draft headquarters”.
The situation around the country will continue to evolve in the weeks leading up to the draft, and as such, the league understands that it must be prepared to continue to adapt to the circumstances as necessary. As of now, the situation continues to grow worse daily by significant margins.
Needless to say, the NFL will do everything that it can to present the draft in such a way that is a broadcast-worthy product. They have too much at stake not to put every effort into doing this right, especially since they will likely be the only show in town at this point.