There also likely will not be the usual slate of college all-star games, especially if the majority of college football plays in the spring, removing another key part of the scouting process that often sees overlooked players gain significant recognition ahead of the draft.
The NFL Scouting Combine would likely shift, and the draft itself can be moved up to as late as June 2, according to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, before the NFL must renegotiate things with the NFLPA. Such a possibility is very much on the radar of the league, per Rapoport, though an incredibly quick turnaround for rookies might devalue draft picks in a collateral result of a schedule shift.
As for the NFL’s schedule in the meantime, the league is prepared to take regional Sunday games and move them to Saturday afternoon and/or evening slots (4 p.m. ET and prime-time, for example) in the event the bulk of college football isn’t available to fill those slots, per Rapoport. These changes would not only increase the NFL’s already-massive stage, but also could potentially bring in more television revenue, which could go toward helping the 2021 salary cap and the anticipated shortfall stemming from the pandemic, Rapoport added.
Plenty remains in play as the sports world awaits to learn the fate of college football in 2020. The NFL is prepared no matter the outcome.