2020 NFL Draft: Officials for several teams reportedly prepping for virtual, at-home draft due to COVID-19
Drastic times call for drastic measures, and teams are willing to take them
The 2020 NFL Draft will go on as scheduled, so says league commissioner Roger Goodell. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from April 23-25, but the coronavirus pandemic has led to jurisdictional quarantines and shelter-in-place orders that led the league to scrap their Vegas plans, instead working to piece together a draft that willwith cutaways to teams on the clock and up to 50 prospects. Now that plan itself is in jeopardy, and Goodell may have to adapt yet again to a rapidly changing landscape dominated by justifiable COVID-19 concerns.
With new information that suggests COVID-19 may not simply be transmitted through touching, sneezing and coughing, but also through simply talking and breathing, team officials are reportedly hesitant to have a fully-staffed war room for the draft. Instead, some are considering the extreme measure of drafting from home, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, setting up virtual locales away from team facilities.
The league recently ordered all league facilities be closed, but that ban was to be lifted ahead of the draft.
Discussions are ongoing with the league's front office on if this format will be given the green light, although it's unclear how the NFL could force team officials to show up at their respective facilities -- considering their concerns are for the well-being of themselves and their staff. The at-home draft idea isn't a unanimous torch being carried by all 32 clubs though, with some still reportedly open to hosting limited staff as the NFL had hoped in its latest round of planning, per Josina Anderson of ESPN. The problem with limited staff is while precautions such as gloves and cloth masks can be taken, there's no guarantee all involved would be 100 percent safe from catching or spreading the illness.
As sports leagues around the nation (and world) shut down due to coronavirus, the NFL has mostly continued to roll along, but banning free agent and NFL prospect visits are further evidence the league is aware of the dangers of COVID-19. Many are calling for them to fully commit to that belief and postpone the draft, but that's not yet happened, and may never.
This means the league has a lot to figure out and very little time to do it.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated the entire 2020 NFL season 10,000 times.
Judon is now officially locked in for the 2020 season
The Panthers' defensive reconstruction continues
Both are going to have a chance to start right away
The NFL once again had a chance to take a step forward and they chose not to
Goodell says they are working to get players in facilities soon as well
Here's the perfect way to keep track of all your schedule leaks and updates in one place
CBS Sports is bringing you live updates and analysis as the 2020 NFL Draft wraps up on Saturday
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Jaguars vs. Colts football game