On Tuesday, the NFL owners officially voted to approve the addition of two playoff teams for the 2020 season. In addition, we also learned some things about this year’s NFL Draft, as well as the years to follow.
Roger Goodell Will Announce from a Central Hub
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will have a location where he announces the picks, and there will be video connectivity to every team. The league will also arrange for 50 prospects to be part of the broadcast remotely, to simulate the scenario where prospects are invited to the actual draft stage.
#NFL exec Peter O'Reilly on league conference call: 2020 NFL Draft will feature a hub where Roger Goodell announces picks, video connectivity at 32 team locations. Approximately 50 prospects will be part of broadcast. Live home video of fans could be featured as well.— Cody Benjamin (@CodyJBenjamin) March 31, 2020
The War Rooms Will be Open
Team executives can still gather together in their facility war rooms to make and strategize the picks. However, there cannot be more than 10 people in the room, and everyone must adhere to the social guidelines of staying six feet apart:
Per NFL exec Peter O’Reilly on the draft, NFL teams will be able to have 10 or fewer people in a room and they must be 6-feet away. So, at least, it appears personnel executives will be able to gather in a room at some level.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
There could be one-use time extensions granted for clubs, to help with the challenges of the remote communication.
NFL exec Troy Vincent says the competition committee is discussing potential changes to the draft, including a one-time option of extending by 1-2 minutes the deadline to complete a trade, given some of the challenges voiced by GMs surrounding this draft.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 31, 2020
Future of the NFL Draft
Obviously, the 2020 NFL Draft that was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas is now happening remotely. In terms of scheduling, Cleveland was picked for the 2021 NFL Draft already, and Kansas City was picked for the 2023 NFL Draft. The year 2022 was, coincidentally, left open, and all signs right now are pointing to that year going to Las Vegas.
NFL EVP Peter O’Reilly says the league is considering holding the 2022 draft in Las Vegas. That one is currently open, even though the 2021 draft is slated for Cleveland and the 2023 draft is headed for Kansas City.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 31, 2020
2020 NFL Schedule
It is expected that the 2020 NFL Schedule will be announced after the draft, but definitely prior to May 9. That is a change from the norm, because the schedule is always announced in mid-April, prior to the draft.
At the moment, the NFL is still planning for a full, normal regular season schedule. Of course, they aren’t naive, and are discussing contingency options behind the scenes. But for now, they are planning a normal schedule release, and then will adapt as the world health situation becomes clearer.
NFL exec Jeff Pash: “Our planning, our expectation, is fully directed at playing a full season starting on schedule and having a full regular season and a full set of playoffs. ... Am I certain? I’m not certain that I’ll be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it.”— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 31, 2020