The NFL sent out a memo that the NFL Draft will proceed as planned from April 23rd to April 25th.
There have been concerns that the NFL would need to delay the start of the league year, free agency, and the draft due to the coronavirus, potentially pushing back the start of the regular season.
Now we know the league year, free agency, and the draft will continue as planned. However, there will be some modifications, including no more public events on the Las Vegas strip.
NFL announcement on its draft plans: pic.twitter.com/ynRG3Bw6fw— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
The NFL, in consideration of COVID-19 and with guidance from medical experts, will modify its plans for the 2020 NFL Draft. The selection will proceed as scheduled April 23-25. The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and it will be televised.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2020
The event will be closed to the public, and all public draft events in Las Vegas will be canceled. However, the main event — the draft selections themselves — will continue as planned. The event will be televised. One theory is that this will look something like the conference calls of the 1980s.
The coronavirus has essentially brought a halt to the sports world — suspending the NBA season as well as the seasons of various soccer leagues around the world, delaying the start of the MLB season, and leading to an outright cancellation of March Madness. Outside of those few modifications to the draft, however, the virus will not have such an impact to the NFL because the NFL always wins.
The league year has successfully started without delay, marked by the beginning of the legal tampering period on March 16. The shield looks like it will own a monopoly on the sports world for the time being.