The NFL has made all sorts of changes to the offseason, and despite having to completely change the format and cancel fan events, the league has decided that the 2020 NFL Draft will continue as scheduled, April 23-25.
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
“Apart from the CEC, I have personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the CEC’s conclusion. Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today. I also believe that the draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed.
Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 Draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way. Already, we have cancelled all public events, we will not be bringing prospects and their families to the Draft, and the draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.
Our staff is certainly mindful of the operational issues this presents, and our top priority is putting in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate on a level playing field so that the draft is conducted in a way that is competitively fair to all clubs. All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters. Needless to say, we will be prepared to adjust to changed circumstances in the next several weeks, including the prospect of clubs being able to resume even limited operations within their facilities.”
In Roger Goodell’s memo that the draft will go on, he served warning to those around the league that criticize the league’s stance. Goodell wrote, “public discussion of issues relating to the draft serves no useful purpose and is grounds for disciplinary action.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 27, 2020
Howie Roseman spoke to the media on Thursday and was asked his preference on holding the Draft as scheduled or postponing the event, but the Eagles’ GM merely said that he would follow the rules and listen to whatever the league decided. He noted that they’ve been preparing for this since last May (essentially) and they’ve just had to get creative in how to scout prospects without Pro Day workouts or in-person interviews.
Despite the event happening on schedule, the 2020 NFL Draft will look different than it ever has, but that could be good for fans watching at home. We’ll have to wait and see what this means for viewers, but regardless, the Eagles have a lot of important decisions to get ready to make.