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Report: 2020 NFL Draft Could Move from Las Vegas to TV Studio Amid COVID-19

PAUL KASABIANMARCH 22, 2020357

 

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during a press conference prior to Super Bowl LIV at the Hilton Miami Downtown on January 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the 54th playing of the Super Bowl, Sunday February 2nd. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The NFL is reportedly looking to hold its 2020 draft in a studio setting in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

"The NFL is not commenting publicly about what’s in the works, but according to two individuals with knowledge of the discussions, the current plans call for some type of studio setting with cut-ins from the headquarters of the teams making the selection at a given time," Farmer wrote.

The draft was originally scheduled to take place from Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25 in Las Vegas. Those dates will remain the same.

 
 

However, it appears the actual event will be held elsewhere. 

Farmer noted there were questions as to whether the draft would still be held in Las Vegas as a "scaled-down version." That reportedly will not be happening.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league's intention to cancel all draft-related fan events in a March 16 statement (h/t Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post).

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The statement read in part:

"This decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens. While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl."

Goodell also wrote that the league would be looking into "innovative options" for the draft.

For now, the NFL continues with its offseason schedule, albeit in a restricted capacity. Teams cannot host anyone for visits, and pro days for 2020 draft prospects have been cancelled.

The 32 teams' offseason programs will also be delayed indefinitely, per a March 16 announcement from Goodell.  

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NFL announces changes to offseason program due to COVID-19

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  • NFL.com
  • Published: March 16, 2020 at 08:33 p.m.
  • Updated: March 16, 2020 at 09:15 p.m.
  • 0 Likes  |  0 Comments
 
 

 

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Monday night that the league and NFLPA have agreed to indefinitely delay the start of teams' offseason programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to delay offseason programs came following discussions with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and consultations between the medical teams for the league and union in addition to guidance from public health officials on the new coronavirus crisis.

Teams with new head coaches were scheduled to begin their offseason program April 6, while April 20 was the date for the rest of the league's teams. Teams also have been instructed to close their facilities to players -- other than those undergoing medically supervised rehab -- for the next two weeks.

"Based on the most recent guidance provided by leading health officials, and in consultation with the NFLPA and both our and the union's medical advisors, we believe this is the appropriate way to protect the health of our players, staff, and our communities," Goodell said in a statement. "We will continue to make decisions based on the best advice from medical and public health experts and will be prepared to make further modifications as needed."

The NFL also announced a set of guidelines for free agency when it officially begins at the start of the new league year, March 18 at 4 p.m. ET. Teams are not allowed to bring in prospective free-agent players "to a club facility or other location to meet with club personnel." Team personnel -- including medical staff -- also may not travel to any location to meet with or examine a free-agent player.

The league and union are "developing protocols that will provide clubs with opportunities to review a free agent player's medical records from his prior club(s) and to arrange for a free agent player to have a medical exam in the player's home city or at another nearby location," per the league's statement. "These steps are consistent with those announced last Friday for club contact with draft-eligible college players."

"It is our responsibility to work together and protect the health, safety and well being of everyone in our business," Smith said in a statement. "Nonetheless, public safety is paramount during this national emergency and we will continue to work with the NFL, medical experts and seek guidance from federal agencies to adjust our business practices accordingly."

OTAs are the latest event on the NFL calendar to be affected by the worldwide spread of COVID-19.

The NFL announced earlier Monday that the 2020 draft will proceed as scheduled April 23-25 and will be televised, but the annual selection process will no longer include public events in Las Vegas.

Last week, the league prohibited teams from conducting pre-draft visits to team facilities.

 
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Sounds boring.

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Figured once the hotels and strip closed down, the Live audience Draft would go by the wayside. 

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Teams cannot host anyone for visits, and pro days for 2020 draft prospects have been cancelled.

 

This will impact a lot of things as well.

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9 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

Teams cannot host anyone for visits, and pro days for 2020 draft prospects have been cancelled.

 

This will impact a lot of things as well.

 

 

The Bengals have placed the safety of their draft scouts at the highest priority by not having any.  Kudos.

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10 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

Teams cannot host anyone for visits, and pro days for 2020 draft prospects have been cancelled.

 

This will impact a lot of things as well.

I think teams have more than enough info on draft picks..

Bengals had the advantage of seeing up close and interviewing

many players at senior bowl and combine...

 

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29 minutes ago, claptonrocks said:

I think teams have more than enough info on draft picks..

Bengals had the advantage of seeing up close and interviewing

many players at senior bowl and combine...

 

On Siruis NFL radio, Pat Kirwan disagrees - he said this adds more uncertainty to the normal level of uncertainty, making it more of a crap shoot. It really hurts any player that has any medical questions if the teams cannot bring them in and check them out or check them out at Pro Days. Also, if teams will have more trouble communicating with each other for trades, etc. if teams are limited in how many people they can have in the draft room. 

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Frankly, the bengals having been at the senior bowl is a massive help in this environment. 

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9 minutes ago, sparky151 said:

This would seem to hurt Tua's draft stock. 

I think he still goes in the top 4.

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3 hours ago, membengal said:

Frankly, the bengals having been at the senior bowl is a massive help in this environment. 

100%

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Seeing where the order includes any player(s) from entering team facilities, unless already receiving medical treatment. They said the prohibition will go through March 31st--with the usual caveat of "review again at that time".

 

Older SI article--before the NFL cancelled pro days. Interesting read. 

 

https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/03/13/nfl-draft-coronavirus-travel-plans-cancel-pro-day

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

Seeing where the order includes any player(s) from entering team facilities, unless already receiving medical treatment. They said the prohibition will go through March 31st--with the usual caveat of "review again at that time".

 

Older SI article--before the NFL cancelled pro days. Interesting read. 

 

https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/03/13/nfl-draft-coronavirus-travel-plans-cancel-pro-day

 

 

I like Lucas Niang but he had a hip injury..

How will the teams know if hes 100% healthy ?

Guess most teams will have to be cautious on any player that was injured or had surgery late last season..

Maybe he'll drop for that reason..

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Herbie says:

 

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2883351-espns-kirk-herbstreit-will-be-shocked-if-nfl-college-football-play-season

 

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said Thursday he'd be "shocked" if the 2020 NFL or college football seasons take place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Herbstreit discussed the potential of all football being canceled this year during an appearance on ESPN Radio (via TMZ Sports).

"I'll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I'll be so surprised if that happens," he said. "Just because, from what I understand, people that I listen to, you're 12 to 18 months from a [COVID-19] vaccine. I don't know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don't know how you can do it with the optics of it."

 

Herbstreit said if he was in charge of either the NFL or the NCAA, he'd already be set to announce the football season was being canceled, per TMZ.

"Next thing you know you got a locker room full of guys that are sick. And that's on your watch? I wouldn't want to have that," he said. "As much as I hate to say it, I think we're scratching the surface of where this thing's gonna go."

He added the limited preparation time would also be a factor, even if the coronavirus outlook started to improve by late summer: "You don't all of the sudden come up with something in July or August and say, 'OK we're good to go' and turn 'em loose!"

 

 

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There's talk of doing one round a day for 7 days. This would be golden for the Bengals. Having a night between each round for teams to work trade to get that #1 in each round.

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2 hours ago, Le Tigre said:

Herbie says:

 

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2883351-espns-kirk-herbstreit-will-be-shocked-if-nfl-college-football-play-season

 

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said Thursday he'd be "shocked" if the 2020 NFL or college football seasons take place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Herbstreit discussed the potential of all football being canceled this year during an appearance on ESPN Radio (via TMZ Sports).

"I'll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I'll be so surprised if that happens," he said. "Just because, from what I understand, people that I listen to, you're 12 to 18 months from a [COVID-19] vaccine. I don't know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don't know how you can do it with the optics of it."

 

Herbstreit said if he was in charge of either the NFL or the NCAA, he'd already be set to announce the football season was being canceled, per TMZ.

"Next thing you know you got a locker room full of guys that are sick. And that's on your watch? I wouldn't want to have that," he said. "As much as I hate to say it, I think we're scratching the surface of where this thing's gonna go."

He added the limited preparation time would also be a factor, even if the coronavirus outlook started to improve by late summer: "You don't all of the sudden come up with something in July or August and say, 'OK we're good to go' and turn 'em loose!"

 

 

Herbstreit went to Centerville High School.  They are drama queens.

 

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One thing to pass along: I’m increasingly hearing from coaches and front office executives that they believe it will be nearly impossible for the season to start on time. Some believe training camp will start in the fall.

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33 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:
One thing to pass along: I’m increasingly hearing from coaches and front office executives that they believe it will be nearly impossible for the season to start on time. Some believe training camp will start in the fall.

I could live with football from October till March .....

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As far as the draft... I don't care if they cut the whoop-la televised stuff.

I mean, Team 1 selects Player X

The next team to pick, Team 2, already knows who they want so why

15 minutes of film clips and drama when the next pick could be made 

in a few minutes or, in some cases, how quickly the team rep can sprint

to the podium with the pick.

 

I always check into the ESPN site and their running ticker to check on draft picks

periodically.  Yeah, if the Bengals pick was coming up I would turn on Brylcreem Mel

and Boomer DeVito but that's about it.

This year its going to be ESPN ticker and Lapham on the radio.

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16 minutes ago, High School Harry said:

As far as the draft... I don't care if they cut the whoop-la televised stuff.

I mean, Team 1 selects Player X

The next team to pick, Team 2, already knows who they want so why

15 minutes of film clips and drama when the next pick could be made 

in a few minutes or, in some cases, how quickly the team rep can sprint

to the podium with the pick.

 

I always check into the ESPN site and their running ticker to check on draft picks

periodically.  Yeah, if the Bengals pick was coming up I would turn on Brylcreem Mel

and Boomer DeVito but that's about it.

This year its going to be ESPN ticker and Lapham on the radio.

It is almost like watching American Idol.  Uhh, well, that is what my wife said.  

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16 hours ago, SF2 said:

Herbstreit went to Centerville High School.  They are drama queens.

 

Herbstreit, along with damn near everyone else, has made a decision on how this virus thing is going to play out and is basing his thoughts on that.  The reality is that we don't really know.  Multiple "experts" say something different every day.  Best to keep your mouth shut and not look stupid down the road. 

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