Despite the rapid outbreak of coronavirus in the United States, the NFL is reportedly planning to go ahead with its scheduled NFL Draft 2020. The draft is scheduled to April 23 to 25. However, it is believed that plans surrounding the current draft are being constantly contemplated by the league officials.
According to ESPN, the league's general managers have recommended commissioner Roger Goodell to postpone the NFL draft 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is believed that the GMs are concerned that draft could prove to be a difficult scenario for NFL teams as several teams will have their facilities closed and there won't be adequate time for the players' physical and other tests to be completed.
Despite the various concerns, ESPN reports the league is hesitating to postpone the draft dates.
While they won't be together on a stage, NFL will reach out to top prospects this week to participate in the Draft set for Apr 23-25. In a letter to agents, the NFL said it is working on a virtual solution that will incorporate prospects in the broadcast from their own locations.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 25, 2020
Plans surrounding the NFL Draft 2020 have already changed multiple times in recent weeks. Goodell earlier announced that the draft would take place behind closed doors in Las Vegas. Subsequent reports in the US suggested that the draft could be moved out of Las Vegas and hosted from a 'studio setting'.
Apart from the changes in NFL Draft 2020, the league has adopted various measures to comply with the measures in regards to the rapid coronavirus outbreak in the US. Most notably, the league has banned in-person visits during the current free agency with physicals taking place away from team facilities.
On Wednesday, it was reported that commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all the 32 NFL teams to notify that all club facilities will remain closed. It is further reported that the NFL will reassess the situation on April 8, 2020, and make further announcements in regards to the fate of the 2020 NFL season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to clubs tonight, saying all club facilities will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with limited exceptions, per sources. The league will reassess April 8 with advice from experts.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 25, 2020
So NFL teams, like many others, will now #stayathome.
If carried out as scheduled, the NFL Draft 2020 will feature 255 picks over seven rounds. Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins will have the top five picks.
Ohio State's Chase Young, Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow, Clemson line back Isaiah Simmons, Auburn's Derrick Brown, Ohio State star Jeff Okudah and Alabama quarterback Tua Tigalova remain the most sought-after prospects heading into the NFL Draft 2020.