While the tradition of the NFL draft in late April apparently will not be stopped by the coronavirus, the traditional draft "war room" might be.
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NFL teams are preparing to conduct the April 23-25 draft with personnel at their homes and not at their team facilities, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.
High-level officials from multiple NFL teams are now preparing to do the April 23-25 draft virtually, from home, away from their team facilities, league sources tell ESPN. Awaiting final decision from NFL on an unprecedented draft.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2020
Schefter and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that President Trump had a conference call on Saturday with the commissioners of each of the major league sports and Trump said he believes the NFL season should start on time. The regular season is scheduled to begin Sept. 10, a Thursday night, when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host an opponent to be determined.
Trump, who last week expressed the hope that mass gatherings could return by Easter Sunday before backtracking on the advice of medical experts and scientists and extending restrictions until April 30, also said he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered team facilities closed more than a week ago.
Earlier, when the NFL announced that the draft would go on as scheduled, it was thought that the teams would work from their facilities - with only 10 people in a room, each six feet apart - to make the picks and contact players chosen via video conferencing.
It appears from Schefter's report that the video conferencing will be going on not only with picks but among individual team's general managers, scouts and coaches as they shelter in place like the rest of us while the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the world.
It creates an unprecedented draft, likely devoid of a lot of the glitzy production values that the original idea of the draft in Las Vegas would've had, but still a far cry from when the teams' decision-makers met in a smoky New York hotel ballroom on a Tuesday in late April to do the picking.