Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NFL Draft will be unlike any draft before.
The NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams on Monday stating that the draft will be conducted in a fully virtual format, as no club will be allowed to access team facilities during the draft. The draft will be done with all general managers, coaches, and team personnel in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
"Clubs have been advised to prepare to conduct the 2020 Draft entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format, with club personnel in separate locations and able to communicate with one another and Draft headquarters by phone or internet," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a statement. "We have reviewed this matter in the past few days with both the Competition Committee and CEC, and this will confirm that Clubs will conduct their Draft operations remotely, with club personnel separately located in their homes."
Now official: NFL now has informed teams it will do a virtual draft this year. GMs and HCs now will be drafting from their homes. pic.twitter.com/t2mbdjWvVZ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 6, 2020
The decision from the NFL aligns with several stay-at-home orders in many states due to the pandemic. Goodell made it clear in his statement that while some teams are located in cities less impacted by coronavirus than others, it would not be fair for some times to access their facilities while others could not.
"All Clubs will not have access to their facilities, which is contrary to the fundamental equity principle that all clubs operate in a consistent and fair way," Goodell wrote. "Moreover, we want all NFL personnel to comply with government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices."
All NFL team facilities have been closed since March 26 and will remain closed indefinitely.
Despite concerns from some general managers, the NFL has proceeded with the planned draft date of April 23 with the event lasting through Saturday, April 25.
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