In Response To COVID-19, NFL Discussing Adjustments To Draft

In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is considering potential changes to the upcoming NFL Draft, as Michael Gehlken of the Dallas News writes. As of this writing, the draft is slated to take place in Las Vegas from April 23-25. 

On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended its season shortly after learning that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. The unprecedented move has many calling for the NFL to take similar measures with the draft, free agency, and other major league milestones on the horizon.

The league office, the players association and the city and the state are working together,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told Gehlken in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They’re making a measured decision. Health and safety will always be No. 1.

The draft is one of many face-to-face large scale conferences on the league’s calendar. In just a few weeks, for example, the annual owners meetings are set to take place. Beyond that, the NFL offseason calls for countless flights, meetings, and workouts. Hours after the NBA paused its season and the United States announced a ban on most travel to Europe, it’s hard to imagine the NFL going about business as usual.

For the draft, the NFL may scale back or eliminate fan attendance entirely. There has also been speculation that the draft could take place entirely via teleconference

They’ll make the correct decision,” Davis told Gehlken. “They won’t put anyone in jeopardy over it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “In Response To COVID-19, NFL Discussing Adjustments To Draft

  1. DarkSide830

    they can have the draft without it being a big public event. what matters is the players getting to the teams.

  2. phillyballers

    No green room needed, top prospects have not shown up before. The only change here is the party doesn’t go on. Some gate money lost from an event. If people are at home, they will watch.

  3. bucsfan

    As someone who attends the draft every year, I’d hate for this to happen. Not only is the event itself enjoyable, the traveling draft now helps people discover cities that otherwise might have been skipped. For example, I wouldn’t have put Nashville high on my list of places to visit as I’m not a country music fan, but I went for the draft and it’s an amazing city.

    Furthermore, there are people I usually only see once a year at the draft. It almost serves as a family reunion. I’ve seen many people’s children grow up through the draft.

    At the end of the day, I understand that we should all do what’s best and safest. Hopefully these measures will help slow the spread of the virus. But it’s still a bummer all the same.

    • monymgr

      Agree Bucsfan, It is what it is . Health concerns should come first and I ‘m sure the NFL would look at it that way . I enjoy and respect your outlook on visiting the various Cities where the Draft takes place. Mixing enjoyment and City education with old/new friends is awesome !

    • I’m sure you can talk to anyone to learn about Vegas. Well at least the parts that didn’t stay there.

  4. dust44

    I think the best case is just to hold it in “private” and redo Vegas next year. Push every other city lined up back a year and move forward. Sucks for the guys that won’t have there chance to walk across stage. But at this point it is what it is. By the time the actual NFL season will start it will probably be business as usual

  5. bumpy93

    this is getting crazy. The draft is actually my favorite event ( 1 of them atleast) I look forward to it so this crap needs to stop. The Chinese need to eat normal f’in food so the entire world don’t suffer b/c of it. Call me childest or whatever I don’t care. We don’t stop seasons b/c of the flu! there’s a few dozen ppl here with it, we don’t need to act like it’s Armageddon coming!

    • phillyballers

      If over 1300 is a few dozen… can I have a few dozen dollars from you? It’s not a lot.

      Italy went from having about 800 or so to over 12,000 in a 2 week span.

      But you make your own choices. Hopefully you don’t have daily interaction with kids or elderly. You seem to have a Rudy Gobert approach.

  6. kevin

    well the virus is not anything to really worry about . I mean if ur old or have an underlying condition then yea make sure u wash ur hands and make sure u take more procautions as u normally should do . but the virus will not kill the nba players . I think it’s being blown way out of proportion.

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