On Monday, the NFL informed clubs that this year’s draft will be conducted with a “fully virtual format.” The memo from commissioner Roger Goodell lays out some of the basics for what will be the most unique NFL Draft in league history.
The draft, which is still set to commence on April 23rd through April 25th, will go on with club personnel operating separately from their homes. Early on, there was some thought to executives gathering in their respective war rooms, but that possibility has been ruled out with more and more shelter-in-place orders throughout the United States.
“We have made this decision for several reasons,” the memo states. “All clubs will not have access to their facilities, which is contrary to the fundamental equity principle that all clubs operate in a consistent and fair way. Moreover, we want all NFL personnel to comply with the government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices. Our staff will carry out its responsibilities in the same way, operating in separate locations outside of our offices.”
Meanwhile, this year’s draft evaluation process is tricky, especially when it comes to prospects with past medical trouble. Coaches, GMs, and other executives will be flying blind when it comes to many players, though some have gone through voluntary exams conducted by the league. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, for example, had a recheck recently and reportedly passed with flying colors.