Despite concerns from GMs, the NFL will barrel ahead with its draft as scheduled. The draft will take place from April 23-25. More particulars of this year’s unusual selection event emerged Tuesday.
- While NFL staffs are currently operating remotely, teams will be permitted to assemble modified war rooms during the draft. Teams can have up to 10 staffers in their respective war rooms, but they must follow the social distancing guidelines that have been recommended nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The staffers must stay six feet apart, NFL executive Peter O’Reilly notes (via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, on Twitter). This will be a significant adjustment for teams, but a draft taking place without a main-stage component will certainly overshadow it.
- Another change the NFL is considering: expanding the time teams will have to make picks. The competition committee will debate giving teams a one-time-only option to extend their clock by one or two minutes, Pelissero tweets. This is in response to GMs who voiced concerns about completing trades under this unusual format. Normally, teams have 10 minutes to make their first-round pick; those numbers steadily decrease throughout the weekend. This could be a way of throwing GMs a bone. After all, the NFL disregarded front office staffers’ concerns and has threatened to punish those who speak out against the league’s plan.
- National Football Scouting, which works the Combine for the league, has instituted a voluntary medical recheck process, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (on Twitter). Teams can no longer visit with prospects, work them out or attend pro days before the 2020 draft. While a recheck process would provide additional clarity for teams regarding prospects with medical issues, La Canfora notes it has placed additional pressure on players. Not voluntarily submitting to a recheck would naturally arise suspicion.
- The NFL has implemented new rules regarding virtual communication. It will allow teams to speak with more prospects leading up to the draft.