Amidst one of the biggest international crises in recent history, the NFL Draft is still on schedule for April 23-25. That’s according to the league and team owners, anyway.
The NFL general manager subcommittee recommended otherwise, and according to reports, it was unanimous. However, the league and team owners ultimately hold the power in this instance.
NFL Draft could be moved, though unlikely now
The event could still be rescheduled, as it is nearly a month away, but the league and team owners are holding fast, for now.
Currently, there are only a few states on lockdown due to the state of coronavirus in America. The NFL has responded to the outbreak, as everyone has been forced to adapt, and they have taken the necessary measures.
All offseason programs and workouts are canceled as of now, but that could change should this blow over sooner than expected. Most GMs would like the draft rescheduled, not canceled, but the question remains if the NFL will listen. NFL reporter Adam Schefter has weighed in on this dilemma:
Here’s an idea for how to change the NFL Draft this year…. pic.twitter.com/PjtrTFpCcR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 25, 2020
Teams may have unfair advantage
The draft has reportedly been moved inside, to a studio, instead of outside in Las Vegas. But the threat of coronavirus has shut down team headquarters until at least April 8, and possibly longer for those areas more greatly effected.
The issue here is that not all states have been hit hard by the virus, at least not yet. Some teams may be forced to conduct their draft from their homes, while others could be allowed to operate from team headquarters. That is part of what general managers and team executives are worried about.
NFL reporter Adam Schefter lays it out:
A big part of the draft is being able to be on site, giving players physicals and mental tests, as well as getting a feel for the player personalities. It is tough to draft a player based on their skill alone. NFL teams are looking for well-rounded young men, not just the on-field product. The draft going through as is could have a big effect on certain team’s pick quality.
Adam Schefter has a compromise for NFL Draft
Many believe that a change to the draft’s schedule is a necessity, and if one were to occur, Adam Schefter has proposed a plan:
What Schefter proposed would give teams more time, with each round being on a separate night. This could be a good solution, meeting halfway between the league and GMs. Regardless, the teams have to be prepared for the current scenario, or perhaps one more fair across the board.
Making the best of the situation
General managers and teams alike are prepared for the draft to go through on schedule, though they will need to be extra diligent in their decisions. However, the way it is currently slated makes that level of diligence difficult. Whatever happens, it seems in everyone’s best interest that the draft be rescheduled.