NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all 32 teams on Thursday evening announcing that the 2020 NFL Draft will go on as schedule beginning on April 23 and run through April 25. This comes after Goodell met with the CEC and the committee was "unanimous and unequivocal" that things should process as planned. He also discussed this matter with "many other owners, club executives and coaches" and there was said to be "widespread support" for the unanimous conclusion from the CEC.
"Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today," Goodell's memo reads. "I also believe that the Draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed."
Of course, talk about moving the 2020 NFL Draft all stems from the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the country and the world. Because of the virus, the league has already canceled public events, won't bring prospects and their families to the Draft and will be "conducted and televised in a way that reflects the current conditions." Originally, the draft was set to take place in the middle of Paradise, Nevada, right next to the new hometown of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Because team facilities are closed, Pro Days are canceled and no prospects are allowed to physically meet with club officials to further the evaluation process, there hasto give teams more time to prepare. This memo puts that request to bed, but the league does recognize the hurdles.
"Our staff is certainly mindful of the operational issues this presents, and our top priority is putting in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate on a level playing field so that the Draft is conducted in a way that is competitively fair to all clubs," Goodell wrote. "All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct Draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with Draft headquarters."
Goodell also says that "public discussion of issues relating to the Draft serves no useful purpose and is grounds for disciplinary action."