Back in February, we reported on rumors of proposed changes to the NFL offseason that would see the Combine, free agency, and the NFL Draft each pushed back several weeks, resulting in the draft not being held until mid-May. According to reports from ESPN's Adam Schefter today, it appears as though some of those changes will begin going into effect in 2014.
Looks like 2014 NFL draft will be held May 15-17. In 2015 and 2016, league year would start early March, combine mid-March.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
If Schefter's projections about the draft are accurate for 2014, it means it would be one week later than our projection from back in February, and three weeks later than when the 2013 NFL Draft took place.
Also, in a unique twist, reports are indicating that by 2015, the new league year (including free agency) would start before the NFL Combine. That can change teams' scouting strategies tremendously; previously, they had to play a "guessing game" as to which positions they should scout for, since there was no guarantee who they would get in free agency. With the change, teams can bag up their free agents and then narrow down who they want to scout at the Combine.
This is the type of change that, in the long run, I'm sure we will get used to because everything the NFL does ends up thriving anyway. In terms of an instant reaction, it throws a wrench in the type of coverage formats we have been doing for years at Dawgs By Nature: there will be a little more dead time after the Super Bowl, but less dead time in May than usual. Just think: if the changes were in effect this year, the draft would have just wrapped up last weekend.
What do you think of the pending changes to the offseason schedule?