High-level officials from multiple NFL teams are now preparing to conduct the April 23-25 draft virtually, from home, away from their team facilities, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a leaguewide memo on March 26 that it was “unanimous and unequivocal that the Draft should go forward as scheduled,” despite the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted work for most of the nation.
NFL vice president Troy Vincent has already invited several prospects to participate “live” in the draft.
The NFL draft, the biggest event on the league’s off-the-field calendar, was originally scheduled as a lavish affair in Las Vegas before those plans were dropped when the league announced it would not be open to the public.
Goodell had acknowledged there would have to be significant changes and told teams to prepare to conduct the draft outside team facilities and with a limited number of people.
The league’s general manager subcommittee recommended delaying the draft to Goodell, sources told ESPN.
General managers had expressed concern that in this current environment, with offseason activities canceled and some teams’ facilities closed, there won’t be enough time for player physicals, gathering psychological testing and getting further verified information about the players, sources told ESPN.
Prospects and their families will not be present at the draft.