Draft is four weeks away, and the NFL says it’s not moving

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Multiple General Managers want to press pause on the draft. The NFL finds their position unpersuasive.

“We are moving forward with the Draft as scheduled,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via text message on Thursday morning.

The 2020 draft begins four weeks from today. The General Managers subcommittee recently voted 6-1 to recommend a delay in the draft, given the inability to gather information as usual, and in light of the potential competitive disadvantage arising from the fact that some facilities are shut down by local stay-at-home orders. The NFL responded by closing all facilities through April 8, giving all teams equal footing when it comes to the unusual posture of attempting to conduct draft meetings and other preparations from home.

Will the teams be less prepared than usual? Absolutely. As long as all teams face the same challenge, however, the league won’t be concerned about that.

Every year, teams make mistakes with their draft picks. Every year, players get drafted lower than perhaps they should have been drafted due to off-field concerns. This year, the risk of both dynamics playing out will become even more pronounced. From the league’s perspective, the fact that teams will be a little more nervous and players will be a little more nervous only adds to the reality of the NFL’s ultimate reality show about nothing.

Sure, the NFL’s ultimate reality show about nothing won’t happen in Las Vegas. No, there will be no human props in attendance. But the draft becomes the closest thing the sports world will have to actual sports for the foreseeable future, and it will generate record ratings.

The added twist of some teams not wanting the draft to proceed as scheduled becomes part of the natural drama, making the process even more interesting than it otherwise would be. And it will be very interesting, in many ways.

How will they announce the picks? How will ESPN, NFL Network, and ABC cover it? How many players will join via FaceTime or some other technology? What will coaches or General Managers have to say during the many interviews that unfold throughout the third day of the draft, after they’ve been forced to make multiple picks with minimal information?

Regardless, the draft is happening. And it’s going to be a big deal. It quite possibly will be a bigger deal than it’s ever been before.

59 responses to “Draft is four weeks away, and the NFL says it’s not moving

  1. Whatever you say Mike…. It WILL be moved. The NHL already postponed theirs and that wasn’t until June. NFL needs to realize, there are a lot more important things on peoples minds now. Season is going to be pushed back at LEAST a month…

  2. Good they shouldn’t. People need something to look forward to and if they can do it safely why not?

  3. “given the inability to gather information as usual”
    __________________

    The combine happened as planned and the CFB season completed normally. All the film is as available as a regular year. They can still read arrest records and call up people to talk about guys’ character. They can call players on the phone and ask them anything they want. They have everything they need.

  4. Very, very selfishly I hope it stays put.

    The only sports we have is the NFL’s offseason with free agency.

    Hey, these guys blow a lot of their picks with all the mountains of info they have now. Some couldn’t get their picks right with double the timeframe.

    So no excuses they’re not prepared enough.

  5. Draft Is Four Weeks Away, And The NFL Says It’s Not Moving.

    +++

    As long as they take precautionary measures, without anyone being in danger, can I ask what’s wrong with that?

  6. Master manipulators of the press it’s genius to continue with it, because there’s absolutely NOTHING going on in the sports world at the moment, so you’ll end up with even more sports fans who would otherwise be doing something else tuning in just to get a taste of anything sports right now.

  7. honestly the in-person prep is a bit overrated. Every year actual drafts aren’t that different from mock drafts, and worse yet the NFL is completely littered with draft picks from 3 thru 7 who were cut from the teams who drafted them before the season even starts! Point is, its more of a crapshoot than ever, even with scouts flying around the country. Just do the draft!

  8. There is no reason to delay the draft. Whatever disadvantage exists due to not being able to do personal workouts or interviews will apply to all teams equally.

    There is more than enough information available through the combine and (for most players) multiple seasons of on-field video evidence.

    As I said on another post, I believe that GM’s/scouts are afraid that if a successful draft is held without them spending 2 months flying around the country on private jets going to workouts/interviews that owners may start wondering if their huge budgets are actually necessary.

  9. Why should they delay it? The whole thing will be done remotely. There won’t be any risk involved.

  10. This could be done via video conference if needed, they should keep it as is and just be safe/smart about it

  11. With the league getting ready to negotiate TV contracts you can bet all the money in the world they will be going trough with the draft. As mentioned in the article this draft will probably have the highest rating of any draft ever. What better bargaining chip to have when negotiating starts than showing networks that even in a global pandemic the NFL sets historic ratings marks.

    Personally I think it should be delayed. A lot of prospects didn’t participate at the combine with the intention of doing so at their pro days. Not only are those individuals not getting the chance to work out but the same can be said for the majority of the draft pool that doesn’t even get invited to the combine. A lot of Group of 5, FCS, Div II and Div III players that use these pro days to show what they can do and that’s their only chance to get on the NFL’s radar.

    Also, I think the draft will just be boring to watch this year if it goes on as is. The time between picks and the almost always horrible filler material on days two and three are almost unbearable to watch during a normal draft so I can only imagine how bad it will be this year.

  12. Draft speculation is the only game in town right now. Once the draft is over, there will be nothing. Go ahead and delay it so I don’t have to listen to “what’s the best hamburger joint in town?” on sports talk radio all of May.

  13. I see no problem. The nfl is doing it by conference call. If we are still in the grasp of coronavirus and stuck in our homes,this will be an outlet that the fine citizens of the usa will need.

  14. It has nothing to do with the virus, it’s logistics. Teams have not had a chance to have scouts out there etc. it WILL be postponed til July, so it can be conducted under more “normal” circumstances. 4 GMS already on record saying they want it postponed..

    Has nothing to do with Paranoia, has everything to do with not being able to have a “normal” process in place for the draft.

    Some of you people need to realize that sports as we know it is done for this year. NBA/NHL will wither cancel or have a lame, shortened playoff tourney. MLB not starting to July. Cold, hard facts. NFL rookie camps will be wiped out, training camps will start late and if they are lucky, NFL season will start in October..Book it.

  15. It should NOT be postponed. However, the ever-greedy NFL needs to be denied the usual money-making spectacle where they take over city blocks and pack the place with fans. Every one of these players should be waiting for that call from their home while the NFL and every team can plan accordingly to prevent too many people gathering in one place.

  16. It has to look very different, but there is no reason it can’t proceed. This organization’s central function is broadcasting live events from multiple locations simultaneously. You’re telling me they can’t safely broadcast one from one location? Test all essential personnel in the draft location and get it done.

  17. No reason to postpone the draft. The event can be completed virtually. Personnel departments have at least three years of information on every player available. I think the GM’s that want this postponed are trying to publicly complain about the process so they can have an excuse to try to divert blame if they make a bad pick.

  18. Keep the draft as is.

    What, more time for teams to overthink their picks? Players have tape. WATCH THE TAPE.

    Draft was held traditionally in December and January when it first started and one could argue the ability to pick successfully hasn’t changed much in 70 years.

  19. Why change it? It can be done without the draftees in attendance. We have enough technology these days to pull it off.

  20. I’m by no means the smartest guy in the world, or an expert on all things in life, but I’ve been thinking on this one for a little while now and honestly can’t come up with a good reason why they should move it.

    “Because Coronavirus” is not a good reason, in my mind, and that’s the only one I can come up with at the moment.

  21. they say if you hit on 50 % of the picks you doing great . the bar doesnt seem to be that high .. they have had ample time to study these kids.

  22. Good ! What else is there to look forward to ! It’s not like there needs to be any human interaction anyway, that was all just for show. Have a place the picks are sent, have someone read them, then have a studio of so called experts at ESPN or NFL Network discuss the picks. Everyone can accomplish this staying 6 feet away from each other!

  23. I fail to see how any team can be less prepared than usual. Everything is the same as normal (college season & bowls were played) & they have had months to prepare. If they don’t know who they targeting at this point then there is a problem with their process, not the date of the draft.

  24. I had times when I thought teachers should postpone book reports being due because it snowed the day before and I had to shovel my parents driveway. The fact the we had a month to read the book and write the report didn’t matter. NFL teams should be scouting all year round. Looking at film, talking with prospects at the Senior Bowl, Phoning or video conferencing, Combine, doing background checks and yet in any given year there are numerous First Round Busts. The NFL has a chance to show case itself and it’s future product with record viewership. Should they postpone because some Franchises haven’t been doing their homework and might draft JaMarcus Russell ?

  25. Did they postpone when the league year started-nope.

    Did they postpone free agency-nope.

    So why should they postpone the draft that can be done by computer and phone-which is the way it was originally done.

  26. Team scouts have been studying film on these kids for awhile and got to see them at the combine, so there’s no excuse on research. This pandemic has affected every country in the world to some degree, and the NFL wants to bring some joy to American sports fans. I applaud them for it. I’m actually excited to ditch all the theatrics and just see the draft results.

  27. I am really looking forward to the GM BOB memes that are forthcoming.

    He’s the dope frantically flippin’ thru the magazine right before he trades away a 5th round pick to move up in the 3rd to take that 8th round prospect.

  28. Ryan Pace outsmarted the rest of the league. Can’t be unprepared for the draft when you trade away all your picks

  29. All-American Voltron says:
    March 26, 2020 at 10:23 am

    honestly the in-person prep is a bit overrated. Every year actual drafts aren’t that different from mock drafts, and worse yet the NFL is completely littered with draft picks from 3 thru 7 who were cut from the teams who drafted them before the season even starts! Point is, its more of a crapshoot than ever, even with scouts flying around the country. Just do the draft!
    _____

    This is a great point. Interviews, pro-days, personal workouts, physicals, the combine. Has anyone ever produced any data showing that rating higher in these pre-draft activities is a predictor of success in the NFL?

    It seems like the one thing that might be a good predictor of NFL success is how well college players did in actually games. There’s plenty of tape showing that!

    I’m paying attention to every camp body my team is signing these days because there’s nothing else to follow. Yes, we need the draft. And keeping it where it is would be a great time to have it.

  30. There’s no reason to postpone the draft. Any NFL team that doesn’t have the information they need by now is a franchise with a shoddy scouting department.

    Yeah, there won’t be a party atmosphere we see every other year, but the important stuff gets done.

  31. The NFL needs to work with those “local jurisdictions “ to get exempted the week of the draft to open the “team war rooms.” Limited numbers of people allowed.

    Hopefully, by then it will be possible to test everyone to make sure they are not active with the Coronavirus.

  32. fishfan77 says:
    March 26, 2020 at 10:07 am
    Whatever you say Mike…. It WILL be moved. The NHL already postponed theirs and that wasn’t until June. NFL needs to realize, there are a lot more important things on peoples minds now. Season is going to be pushed back at LEAST a month…

    —————————————————————-

    The NHL postponing the draft has more to do with the fact that their season hasn’t finished yet. NBA will surely do the same. I’m all for the NFL draft moving forward as long as nobody’s health and safety are jeopardized in any way

  33. Like GM’s have a 100% success rate in any other draft. Maybe they’ll learn new ways to evaluate players now. The draft can be done entirely online. In fact it would be great to see it set up like a fantasy draft room. 32 teams and GM’s trash talking each other after every pick in the Chat.

  34. ironlungsd says: “What, more time for teams to overthink their picks? Players have tape. WATCH THE TAPE. ”
    —————————

    You do know college coaches are pretty smart too, right? They’re not going to call plays that their players CAN’T execute, so you will never have tape on it.

    For example – the 12-yd out route is a really tough pass for most QBs (accuracy, timing, & velocity), so a lot of college OCs don’t have it in their playbook. Without game film, how do you know if your draft prospect can throw that at the NFL level?

    That’s the same with every position – their college coaches will not put them in a position to fail. Having “tape” only shows good stuff, not the flaws.

  35. I second everyone who is saying that we need something to look forward to. It can be done remotely, and to be honest, I’m quite happy to not be seeing Tua riding on a giant swan.

  36. fishfan77 says:
    March 26, 2020 at 10:07 am
    NFL needs to realize, there are a lot more important things on peoples minds now.
    **********************************************************************************

    Whatever you say Fishy…..you need to realize that sporting distractions are a welcome addition to the shut-in culture that we got going right now.

    Other than government edict, I can’t see a better method than keeping people inside.

  37. It shouldn’t be moved or postponed. Select your players. Send them playbooks in the mail to study. Be ready for training camp in July.

    IF (and that is a big IF) by late June this coronavirus madness is somehow not better (it should be) they can then move to make changes to camp and/or preseason.

    It seems to me like people want to just pretend like we should all be ready to self quarantine for another 2-3 months. When in fact people should be getting ready to get back to life as normal as possible before Summer. The coronavirus (Covid-19) isn’t going to just go away. It is here for good. A legit vaccine is still a ways out but medicine for treatment is being tested and made available very quickly. This whole end of the world mindset people have (especially those in the media) is sickening.

  38. Good. I never understood the sentiment to delay it in the first place. The way things are going they would be looking at months before they could do the in person scouting they are worried about missing. This forces teams scouting departments to focus on the film more than ever before and that’s probably a good thing.

  39. jamaltimore says:
    March 26, 2020 at 12:12 pm
    WNBA draft is 4/17 and not moving either.
    ———————————————
    All 5 fans are disappointed.

  40. Teams should be 100% ready to draft as soon as the college football season is over. The only thing that happens is teams have more time to over-analyze. This is the period where a guy like Drew Brees goes from the #1 overall pick, to the second round because some smart GM decided to ignore what he did on the field and put a tape measure on him and decide he’s too short. You can’t dummy down to the level of the most incompetent. That’s just not how 32 owners became billionaires.

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