LA Rams learn that the NFL has confirmed today that the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed on April 23-25 as scheduled, but will occur without public events
The LA Rams got a bit of positive reassurance today. The NFL announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will happen on schedule. That schedule is April 23-25, 2020, and will happen in Las Vegas, Nevada. But the event is not unchanged. As of today, the NFL has announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will take place without any public events.
Over the years, the annual NFL Draft has become quite a public event. The entire concept of a draft to select NCAA hopefuls began in 1936. Initially, it was a single-day event held in a smoke-filled hotel. Eventually, the event became televised in 1980, and thanks to ESPN and their NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper, drew a television audience. The draft expanded to a three-day format in 2010 and moved out of New York City in 2015.
The 2019 event recorded over 600,000 persons in attendance at the multi-day event in Nashville, Tennessee. And therein lies the problem for 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 15, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its Interim Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 50 persons.
That fueled speculation and rumors over the future of the 2020 NFL Draft. Those rumors have now been officially addressed by the NFL. Public events have been officially canceled:
“This decision reflects our foremost priority — the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” Goodell in a statement. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl.” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained in a news release
The event will be televised as planned.
With the LA Rams currently limited in the 2020 NFL Free Agency market, the 2020 NFL Draft has taken on even greater significance. Right now, the LA Rams have a pick in rounds two, three (2), four, six, and seven. That has led to a mock draft with a blockbuster trade already.
NFL teams are already very active in trades and personnel actions today, March 16, 2020. Unfortunately, the LA Rams continue to be very quiet. This offseason will test your patience.