The 2020 NFL Draft was set to take place on April 23 in Las Vegas, NV. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic cancelling events across the world, the question is, what will happen to the NFL Draft?
According to a report made by the Los Angeles Times, the NFL Draft will not be taking place in Las Vegas. The draft will reportedly take place in a studio rather than the water on the Fountains of Bellagio, which was the original plan.
The NFL’s plans call for the draft to take place in a TV studio setting with cut-ins from team headquarters when they are making their selections, according to Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Farmer, who cited two individuals who have knowledge of the NFL’s discussions.
The NFL has not publicly commented on what will happen for draft day. On March 16, the league announced that the draft remained on schedule but they would be cancelling all public draft events in Las Vegas.
“Planning for the Draft is a good example of how we need to think differently, embrace technology and collaborate,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a memo sent to league employees earlier this week. “While there have been changes to the way we work and some of our plans, we have an unwavering commitment to upholding the NFL’s legacy of unifying and lifting the spirit of America, and bringing out the best in our fans and in our communities around the world.”
The NFL already had to change some other draft procedures prior to this report. Earlier this month the league announced they were prohibiting "all in-person, pre-draft visits involving draft-eligible players," in a memo that was obtained by ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Teams wouldn’t be able to attend pro days or have draft prospects visit team facilities. Teams will have to communicate with prospects over telephone or video conferences and they must report those meetings to the league’s player personnel department, according to ESPN.
The league also didn’t allow teams to host free agents at their facilities when free agency opened up on March 18. NFL offseason programs are also delayed indefinitely.
The Draft is set to take place in exactly one month and with new information coming out every day about the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL will have probably be bringing more updates up until draft day.