Commissioner tells teams the draft will proceed as scheduled

Getty Images

On Thursday morning, the NFL told PFT that the draft will proceed as scheduled. On Thursday night, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent an even more clear message to the 32 franchises that, four weeks from tonight, the draft will commence.

“As you know, we have been reviewing and addressing all aspects of our off-season operations, including the Draft, in light of current public health conditions,” Goodell informed all clubs in a memo dated March 26, a copy of which PFT has obtained. “Earlier today, the [NFL Management Council Executive Committee] discussed the issues relating to the Draft. The Committee was unanimous and unequivocal that the Draft should go forward as scheduled on April 23-25, 2020.”

Goodell also explained that he has “personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the . . . conclusion” to proceed with the draft as scheduled.

“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 wrote. “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.”

He’s right. With no live sports for weeks if not longer, the draft is all we’ll have. And the draft will, as a result, perform better than ever before, even though it will look like never before.

“Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 Draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way,” Goodell wrote. “Already, we have cancelled all public events, we will not be bringing prospects and their families to the Draft, and the Draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.

“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. 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. Needless to say, we will be prepared to adjust to changed circumstances in the next several weeks, including the prospect of clubs being able to resume even limited operations within their facilities.”

That will happen only if none of the states in which the NFL does business has mandatory “stay at home” orders in place when the draft begins. Currently, that’s highly unlikely. Which means that all facilities likely will remain closed, and that the coverage of the draft will look like every news and sports show currently does: People using their phones as cameras, and AirPods as earpieces.

36 responses to “Commissioner tells teams the draft will proceed as scheduled

  1. With the 5th pick in the 2020 draft the Miami Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama

  2. igotgamenj says:
    March 26, 2020 at 8:08 pm
    With the 5th pick in the 2020 draft the Miami Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
    No they will trade the 5th pick to Washington for Haskins. Just to give Dolphin fans a reminder Flores finished with the worst record in close to a decade. You can make the argument he did it with little talent but then again I’m sure he had a say in the trades. Plus if the Dolphins draft a safety in the 1st as projected, just shows the level of disfunction in the organization as they traded a pro bowl safety for the first. Good thing Flores gave a second and fifth for Rosen.

  3. Again, the NFL should work with the States & Feds to try and get a specific waiver for the few days before and day of the draft Limited numbers & specific guidelines to follow, including testing to ensure its safe. Just doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal to work out.

  4. YESSSSSSS!!!!
    Roger FINALLY got something right!!!!
    Thank goodness cause you know it wont be long till he jacks things up again!!!

  5. Have to agree with Goodell, the draft should go on as originally planned.

    We don’t need all the top prospects in a “green room”, but we do need some real sports news to help us get past the extreme dearth of sports news that we are experiencing right now.

  6. Great news!!! Gives me and every other NFL fan some sports entertainment. At the same time being responsible citizens and social distancing ourselves, while being lazy and relaxing at the same time

    The NFL finally got something right 👏🏻 👏🏻

  7. Of course. King Roger thinks he and the NFL are the most important people in Earth.

    Talk about tone deaf.

  8. tb12bestqbevah says:
    March 26, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Of course. King Roger thinks he and the NFL are the most important people in Earth.

    Talk about tone deaf.
    Exactly the opposite. They are doing everything possible to demonstrate that they are complying with stay-at-home orders like everyone else, and showing how modern technology can be used to conduct even complex business operations safely and successfully.

  9. Why shouldn’t they? Take the proper precautions, be safe, and be careful. No point in shutting everything down when if you adjust things a little bit, you can go on as planned.

  10. I 100% agree with this decision. Social distancing can occur with the draft if that is what society is concerned with.

  11. This is a great move. America needs a distraction right now, and millions of people will get positive feelings from seeing who their favorite teams will be adding. Football, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet!

  12. As it should, so many people are stuck at home working these GMs can do the same. If start pushing everything back it will inevitably lead to delaying the start of the season, no reason to set that in motion now when its avoidable.

  13. They’re not?
    There are to me and most guys on here.
    Thank God we have something to look forward to in sports coming up.

  14. It still will be hard for them to select players they haven’t seen or interviewed or worked out. The people who will suffer the most are the ones from small schools where they didn’t have as much publicity.

  15. A team will draft a player they shouldn’t have. Another team will luck into a player who greatly exceeds expectations. This happens every year anyway. Postponing the draft won’t matter even if nobody’s in Vegas to party.

  16. They used to do this thing via Pony Express so let’s not act like this is new ground being broken.

    If anything it will filter out all the unnecessary noise and make for some great drama. I am very much looking forward to it

  17. Good show more highlights of the players in every round, because we don’t need to see those so called analysts talk threw every single pick, or here from any coaches during the draft!

  18. It seems like the only people who don’t want the draft to go one as scheduled are GMs and coaches. Guess what, many people’s lives in this and other countries have become significantly different over the past few weeks, especially in how we work.

    A huge number of people are teleworking, and for some of us, it’s not easy. But we’re doing it to do our part and to stay employed. I think for one season, it’s not too much to ask GMs and coaches to do the same when it comes to the draft.

    Yes, it might be more difficult, yes, the process (including the one leading up to it) will be different. But you can handle this change. A lot of us are.

    With March Madness, the NBA, NHL, and NBA cancelled or postponed, sports fans need this. And there’s no reason it can’t be done remotely on its original dates.

  19. Thank Goodness I feel ever Sports fan Needs this & with the technology today it cam be done safely

  20. Roger may try to exclude fans from all drafts going forward. This will be the first draft that he isn’t showered with boooos for the entire first round. Who will he hug, huge manequins wearing team jerseys or manequins with expensive suits and crazy bling. So many details to figure out, they could have some fun with it.

  21. jpeagles says:
    March 27, 2020 at 8:02 am
    Roger may try to exclude fans from all drafts going forward. This will be the first draft that he isn’t showered with boos for the entire first round. Who will he hug, huge mannequins wearing team jerseys or mannequins with expensive suits and crazy bling.

    Then when the regular draft returns next year, they can replace Rodger with a mannequin too!

  22. America needs the draft. It gives us something to talk about while stuck at home. I am no Roger fan, but in this case, his “the show must go on” even if it is virtual is the best thing he could have done. I feel sorry for the boys who are getting drafted, no big party, but you know what, the millions of the rest of us have something to talk about. Give the devil his due. Goddell got this one right.

  23. Teams get it wrong on half of the picks as it is , maybe not overthinking every little detail might be more successful .

  24. Yep. And then you can get playbooks out to the new players, and converse with them via electronic means on what their “work days” should look like. You know, like yours and my companies should be doing right now as well. Yes, things should and must change for the short term (that means not getting together in person). But no reason everything should 100% stop. It’s 2020. Use the resources that have been developed.

  25. From the article,… “All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct Draft operations in a location outside of your facility”

    Why is Roger asking teams to conduct the draft AWAY from team headquarters. ??
    I agree the draft should go on as planned,…. but why offsite?

  26. I will be happy so long as they don’t replace the games with QBs playing Madden live on TV

  27. As long as they are not inviting the large groups of fans, and teams can make their picks remotely, there is no reason to not hold the draft. They can likely still get video feeds from the top picks, as we see many other TV programs working remotely, even if the video quality isn’t the same.

  28. The drsft rooms have had about 20 people on the phones, writing on the big board, etc. If those 20 aren’t together it will slow down teams pick processing and trade deals. Add another 45 secs to picks.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.