How the 2020 NFL Draft Will Work
The 2020 edition of the National Football League Draft will take place from April 23-25. The event was to be held in an elaborate ceremony in Las Vegas. But the coronavirus pandemic has canceled the public event and has forced the gridiron football league to hold the program online.
The NFL Draft will be unique, as it will not entail any players in attendance, let alone any parties. The move comes as people are being asked to follow current distancing standards during the pandemic.
There are multiple ways of how the NFL Draft will operate. The event will continue to run as planned, with seven rounds being spread out over three days. But the process for the draft will be different.
A traditional NFL Draft entails teams operating in “war rooms” where they discuss who they will draft when the time comes along. But current distancing rules have made it to where these rooms would not be allowed.
As a result, team personnel will be in separate locations. People will use online and phone communications to reach each other. Part of this includes using conferencing programs to ensure people can stay in touch in real-time. The work ensures that people can stay together and be on the same page when figuring out which players are to be drafted.
A virtual mock draft is expected to take place before the actual event. The test would confirm that the drafting process is suitable and that there will be no technical issues.
Outside Regular Facilities
Teams will have to operate their draft activities in locations outside of the league and team facilities. These sites are closed indefinitely. Various teams are planning to hold their draft activities and discussions in many sites. They are not willing to divulge this information out of privacy concerns.
Interactions With Players
There were multiple scouting opportunities available before the pandemic. These included the official combine, various college exhibition events, and visits with a few colleges where the players attended.
However, the NFL is not allowing teams to visit prospects at club facilities. Teams can only interact with prospects through virtual interactions. The problem has caused some general managers to request that the draft be pushed back. Some even argued that there should be more rounds than the original seven.
Individual players will still be able to stay in touch with the teams that draft them, albeit by virtual means. For instance, Joe Burrow would have to be in a separate location, while a representative for the Cincinnati Bengals would talk with him through a virtual conference. The Bengals are expected to select the Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback with the first overall pick.
Don’t Forget the Hats
The hats that players wear after being picked in the NFL Draft will still be available for sale. These include neon light-themed accents, presumably as a reference to how the event was to occur in Las Vegas. However, players might not have access to these hats for themselves until later. High-profile prospects like Joe Burrow, Chase Young, and others expected to be drafted early might still have access to them.