It’s April 1st. We should be crowning a new NCAA Champion and looking forward to the NFL Draft. After a month of March, which took so many big events from the sporting world, NFL fans everywhere have had one question on their mind: will the NFL Draft actually happen as scheduled?
Beyond WrestleMania, which is set to take place this weekend, the NFL Draft would seemingly be the only event in the country that has not been canceled or indefinitely postponed.
Last Thursday, we learned that the NFL has plans to proceed as scheduled. No logistics have been given yet, but the NFL has made it clear they still intend to hold the draft from April 23-25th. This has sparked a ton of debate and has raised even more questions.
Voicing Concerns About NFL Draft
Some of the loudest and most respected voices in the NFL media have spoken out against the NFL’s decision. Most recently, Adam Schefter appeared on Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter and called out the NFL for a lack of foresight, among other things, and finished his thoughts by saying “They [NFL] are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets.”
Whether or not you think this is a good idea, could the NFL realistically push back an event as significant as the draft? They have already made it abundantly clear that priority number one is to start the season on time. Since that is the case, delaying the NFL Draft more than a couple of weeks seems like it would create more issues than it would solve.
The league, and city of Las Vegas, are already losing out on tens or maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars by not having any spectators or surrounding events. If they can find a way to have the event safely, I don’t see why we should want them to cancel the whole thing.
There are arguments to be made on both sides. Draft day is what a player waits for their entire career. Some will argue the significance of the event will drive the players and their families to attend, putting them in danger of contracting or spreading the virus. Others will say it is the player’s choice to be there just like any other year, and they could very easily choose to stay safely in their home.
These types of conversations are all moot until we find out a bit more about how the NFL plans to let this play out.
There are some obvious and huge questions that come into my mind; will players be allowed there or will this somehow all be virtual? If it’s the latter, how will media go about covering it? Will we have analysts and big boards or will we end up just watching the experts watch the NFL Draft?
Will they still have special guests to announce picks in the later rounds? And the most important question of all – will Roger Goodell set up a later date for all of the first rounders to go get their hug?
Danger in Proceeding or Postponing?
Whether you think this is a good look or not, the fact is the NFL cannot afford to wait. Teams need to select their guys so they can get working immediately. Obviously, these players will not be able to meet with their teammates or go to the facility for a while, but they can do many other things, such as finding a home.
As seems to be the recent trend, there will be three or likely four quarterbacks taken in the first round this year. They need to start talking with their coach immediately and get their nose in the playbook.
Just think about how much the average rookie struggles at the beginning of a season. Now, imagine how much worse it will be if he has an entire month less of memorizing the plays or practicing the dialogue.
The NFL Draft cannot be pushed back without hurting the players and the product in some way and the NFL will do everything in their power to avoid that.