Much has been made about the status of the 2020 NFL Draft in April due to the continued spread and impact of the coronavirus pandemic. There had been some speculation about potential postponement, but Commissioner Roger Goodell offered some clarity on the matter on Thursday.
Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 teams in which he said the draft will take place April 23-25, citing “widespread agreement” for the draft to go on as planned.
Commissioner Goodell sent out a memo to NFL teams tonight that the draft will go on April 23-25. pic.twitter.com/tYlHo3fKqC
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2020
But while the draft will indeed go on as planned, Goodell noted the need for preventative measures.
The NFL has already canceled all public events surrounding the draft, and prospects and their families will not be in attendance when selections are made. Goodell also said the draft will be “conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.”
Goodell’s memo also served to encourage teams to begin taking steps in preparing for pre- and post-draft operations outside of team facilities.
It should not come as a surprise the NFL is looking to keep their schedule in order. After all, the 2020 league year has already started, and free agency has gone on without too much of a hitch.
Other leagues–notably the MLB and NBA–are also grappling with how best to approach their respective drafts, though the NFL Draft (which comes first) could serve as a good barometer for how those leagues proceed.
Goodell seemed to indicate this as a fluid situation, especially when it comes to the potential for pro days or individual workouts. However, he was firm in asserting the draft will happen as originally planned.