The NFL plans to conduct its annual draft as scheduled from April 23-25 despite a recommendation from the league's general manager subcommittee to commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday to delay the event due to the impacts of the coronavirus, according to a report by ESPN.
The 2020 NFL Draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is now planned to be run from team headquarters throughout the league, with the broadcast being run out of a television studio, according to multiple reports.
However, general managers around the league are concerned that there will not be proper time to evaluate talent, conduct medical evaluations and generally prepare for the draft. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of pro days and pre-draft visits and the closure of some team facilities, among other typical pre-draft planning.
The GM subcommittee voted 6-1 to approve the recommendation to delay the draft, according to ESPN. Among the concerns is a competitive disadvantage for teams located in states including California, Illinois, New York and Washington that are currently under shelter-at-home orders.
There is still time to adjust the timing of the draft, but the consensus among the league office and team owners is to conduct the event as currently scheduled, according to the report.
In an internal email sent to all NFL employees last Thursday, commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that some changes were coming to this year's event.
"Planning for the draft is a good example of how we need to think differently, embrace technology and collaborate," Goodell wrote. "We will also use the draft to help support fans and those people impacted in our communities."