The 2020 NFL Draft will still go on as planned later this month despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and it apparently would include three more rounds than usual if a recent league proposal by Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert had been accepted.
According to Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News, Colbert told league officials on a recent conference call that teams should be awarded three extra draft picks given the pre-draft challenges caused by the coronavirus restrictions.
Mehta goes on to write that pro day cancellations and private workouts along with no annual team visits has thrown some organizations for a loop with the Steelers likely being one them.
Also according to Mehta, Colbert proposed the three extra round idea because he believes teams are more likely to make more mistakes without the additional and usual evaluation time. Colbert’s stance is reportedly that a 10-round draft would widen a team’s margin for error.
Colbert did not comment to Mehta on his report. Even so, assuming Colbert did make such a proposal to add three additional rounds, it’s understandable as to why. The Steelers really place a lot of value on the pre-draft process that includes pro-day visits and up to 30 players making pre-draft visits.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams can conduct up to three video conference calls per week that last no more than an hour with draft prospects. The NFL also sent a memo Monday to all teams announcing that this year’s draft will be a “fully virtual” one with all team facilities closed indefinitely.
While Colbert did not comment on this story, you can bet at some point he’ll be asked to again by the local media.