2020 Offseason Questions: How Will Covid-19 Affect College Football And 2021 NFL Draft?

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 college football be affected by Covid-19, and how will that affect the 2021 NFL Draft?

As the days tick by, we continue to receive more and more information pertaining to the immediate future of college football. Already, the Ivy League has elected not tot conduct Fall sports, while the Big Ten and ACC have announced that they will only play intraconference games.

It’s likely that we will continue to get more and more decisions in the coming week or two spanning a wide breadth of the college football landscape. While the Power 5 conferences are the ones that people will be keeping an eye on, we should especially anticipate that conferences more out of the limelight and less equipped to handle the current conditions might fall by the wayside.

As much money as sports may generate for schools—and for as much money as these school might put into their sports programs—for one thing, they can’t compete with the NFL, and their foremost responsibility is to their student body. Some campuses are considering online courses, so how they could reconcile that with live sports, I couldn’t explain.

And then we have the question of the draft. What if high-profile players don’t have the opportunity to play this year? Or what if their season is delayed until the Spring, and possibly even overlaps with the draft? How would declaration work, if at all? How would the evaluation process function with such a short turnaround, possibly one that coincides with an ongoing season when the draft occurs?

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