NFL to hold ‘fully virtual’ draft with no team personnel gathering together
The NFL will still be holding the draft on its originally scheduled dates of April 23-25, but the league is committed to following the social distancing guidelines that have been put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
On Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to all 32 teams informing them that the draft will be “fully virtual.” Team personnel have been instructed to not gather at the same location and to remain at all of their respective homes, communicating through phone and internet. Goodell said that decision was made both to maintain a level playing field and to follow “safe and appropriate health practices.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just informed clubs in a memo that club facilities will remain closed indefinitely and the league will conduct a “fully virtual” draft, with club personnel separately located in their homes. pic.twitter.com/28t2kNnLAI
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 6, 2020
Because many cities and areas of the country are under stay-at-home orders, certain teams still have access to their team facilities while others don’t. The NFL wants to prevent those teams that do have access to their facilities from gaining an advantage by gathering together in their buildings.
The NFL did not say whether or not extra time will be allotted for making picks, but that is likely something the league will explore. With executives and personnel communicating to one another from their respective houses or offices, there are bound to be some issues.
Teams do not seem pleased about the NFL’s insistence on not postponing the draft, but they will all have to find a way to deal with it. The good news for fans is that it seems like there will be plenty of ways to follow the action on TV.