BOSTON (CBS) — It can be quite challenging to get seven people to strongly agree on any one subject, no matter the topic at hand. So, when six of the seven members of the NFL’s general manager subcommittee voted to postpone this year’s NFL draft, it spoke volumes to how NFL teams feel about the NFL’s plans to hold the draft as scheduled, despite the country’s fight to limit the coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, the NFL tends to work unilaterally in these situations, and so the league at this moment intends on ignoring that request from GMs. The draft will go on, as scheduled, April 23-25.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini, the NFL “plans to stick with its original April 23-25 schedule” for the draft, “despite a recommendation from the league’s general manager subcommittee to commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday that it be moved back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The GMs’ concerns are obvious. With the country doing its best to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, most teams have had their facilities essentially shut down for a week. The rest of the NFL will join those teams on Wednesday. A reopening of those facilities won’t be assessed until April 8.
That means teams can’t host draft prospects for workouts, physicals and interviews — critical elements in the evaluation process.
“The league still has time to make further and final decisions, but the consensus among owners and the league office is for the draft to go on as scheduled,” the story said.
A source told ESPN that many owners want the draft to be postponed, but “of course the power owners are calling the shots.”
The league has reportedly moved the draft from its scheduled location on the Las Vegas strip to a television studio, but the plan remains in place for the league’s signature offseason event to go on as planned.