Things are certainly going to be different for the 2020 NFL Draft and teams have now been made aware of how the event may potentially occur. On Thursday, the league sent a memo out to all 32 teams to advise they are considering two different scenarios for how this month’s draft will be held. Neither scenario includes gathering together in one location, due to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world.
The draft is still going to take place on April 23-25, but it will not be held in Las Vegas as initially scheduled.
The official NFL website reports that guidelines for all teams regarding draft-day operations have been sent out. Both of the scenarios have been formulated following health guidelines put in place by the CDC as well as Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer.
In the first option, NFL clubs would operate out of their facilities. With many states not allowing gatherings larger than 10, this option includes limitations on the number of personnel that would be allowed in the facility.
The second option is for teams to operate completely remotely, with club personnel reporting from their “personal residences.” There would still be a “clear prohibition” on any number of staff members gathering together in one residence for the remote transmission.
— NFL (@NFL) April 2, 2020
The league has yet to choose which scenario would be the better option. The final determination will be based on several factors, including “guidance from Dr. Sills, the CDC and the impact of any shelter in place or similar executive orders that are imposed in club jurisdictions.”
If NFL teams don’t wish to hold their Draft Day operations from their facilities, alternative off-site locations are a possibility. That location would still need to follow the guidelines set in place by Dr. Sills as well as the laws in place at that time regarding gatherings.
The coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints has already been holding their pre-draft meetings at the Dixie Brewing Company, per ESPN. Only a limited number of people are coming together for these meetings, which include head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, and assistant general manager Jeff Ireland.
Several scouts have been virtually attending these meetings via video chat. It is assumed they will do the same for Draft Day.
Once the NFL determines which scenario they are going with, a new memo will be sent to all teams. If the second scenario is chosen, no team will be permitted to operate from their club facility or another off-site location.