In a memo obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero sent out Thursday to all 32 NFL teams, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the 2020 NFL Draft would go on as scheduled from April 23-25.
During a meeting Thursday with the NFL Management Commissioner’s Executive Committee, Goodell said the decision was “unanimous and unequivocal” that the 2020 draft would more forward as originally slated.
“Apart from the CEC, I have personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the CEC’s conclusion,” Goodell said in the memo. “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. 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.
“Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 Draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way. 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.”
On Tuesday, Pelissero reported there were no plans to delay the draft and Thursday’s memo obviously continues along those lines.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL teams have had to and will continue to adjust their preparation for the draft.
On Monday, all NFL-related physicals were indefinitely stopped, therefore no free agents or draft prospects can be examined until it is deemed the coronavirus crisis has passed.
Late Tuesday, Goodell sent out a statement announcing that all 32 team facilities would be closed.
On March 16, it was announced that the draft would proceed as scheduled and would be televised, but the annual selection process would no longer include public events in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.