NFL not planning to push back 2021 draft if college season is delayed
The NFL is insistent there will be a 2020 season amid concerns stemming from the recent surge in cases of COVID-19. It seems the 2021 league year will also move forward as planned, regardless of whether the college football season is held this fall.
Dan Wolken of USA Today reported NCAA officials reached out to the NFL about possibly pushing back the 2021 NFL Draft in the event it has to institute a spring season.
The NFL does not appears interested at this juncture.
One nugget I picked up today. College football officials have quietly inquired with the NFL about whether they’d be willing to push back the 2021 draft in the event of a spring season. Unsurprisingly, the NFL isn’t interested
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 2, 2020
The NCAA is struggling with how best to approach the 2020 season.
Some conferences, such as the Ivy League, are reportedly considering a “seven-game, conference-only” season starting in April and ending in mid-May, per ESPN’s Heather Dinich. However, Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour also said Wednesday a spring season should be considered a “last resort.”
Still, there has been a call for the NCAA to intercede and make a “uniform” decision.
Sen. Jacky Rosen notes the number of positive COVID-19 tests: "The NCAA should step in to provide a nationwide framework." Ohio State president/NCAA chairman Michael Drake says he supports uniform approach from NCAA in dealing with sports now and that discussion is happening.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonAspen) July 1, 2020
Concerns have only been amplified following reports of 37 Clemson football players testing for COVID-19. Major programs were unable to hold spring practices, which has already impeded a timeline which now appears to be in further jeopardy.
Obviously, a move to install a spring season would have major implications both at the collegiate and professional ranks, particularly if the NFL declines to postpone the draft.
Given the NFL draft is held in April, all 32 franchises would likely have to make their selections within the framework of prior scouting and video. Of course, this would inhibit any players who elected to transfer or dealt with injuries during the 2019 campaign.
The NCAA is at the precipice when it comes to determining the fate of the college football season. But, at least for now, the NFL is not concerning itself with the NCAA’s problems.