MINNEAPOLIS - The NFL Draft will go on as scheduled April 23-25, but it will look vastly different than the original plans for having it outside the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and having announced picks transported to a stage via boat.
Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced the draft will be done entirely online and remote due to the Coronavirus pandemic, much like us as fans do for our fantasy football drafts. That includes himself. Goodell will be announcing picks as they come in from his home in New York.
ESPN and the NFL Network are partnering to put the draft broadcast together. The telecast will happen from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., while other analysts, reporters and experts will be providing coverage remotely from their homes.
The NFL Draft will also feature a “Draft-a-Thon,” which will be raising money for six separate charities as they relate to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All NFL teams will be doing the NFL Draft remotely, gathering in the necessary small groups and working remotely from their own homes. The NFL will also host a remote “green room” for the top 58 prospects, which includes University of Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr.
The Minnesota Vikings have the No. 22 and No. 25 overall picks in the NFL Draft after trading wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for four draft picks.
ESPN and the NFL Network will combine to provide a single broadcast of the three-day event, while ABC will have its own telecast for the first three rounds. The NFL and ESPN will also have the draft on their digital platforms.
It will look very different than it has in the past, but there will be a draft and football fans have a live event to look forward to.