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Notes: NFL still holding the Draft in April

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While probably no longer in Las Vegas, the league is sticking with April 23-25

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Earlier in the week our site asked readers if they thought the league would cancel or alter the 2020 regular season, and a plurality thought the upcoming season would happen in full. Based on a memo sent by the commissioner’s office to teams regarding the annual College Draft, that expectation seems to be the way to go.

11 days ago, the league announced public events in Las Vegas for the draft were canceled. Six days ago, Sam Farmer at the Los Angeles Times reported that a studio setting of some sort would be used and that there would no longer be any on-site event in Las Vegas (oddly, CBS 8NewsNow in Las Vegas does not list the NFL Draft on its tracker of canceled local events yet, so who knows). The latest memo confirms that whatever form it takes, the 2020 College Draft itself still has a green light:

The lead paragraph in the memo notes that Thursday’s decision was unanimous among the Commissioner’s Executive Committee (CEC). That means the upper management of all teams — including the Lions — agreed that this was the best way forward:

The Executive Committee includes one representative — an owner or top officer — from each of the league’s 32 clubs. Any change in game rules, league policy or club ownership or other modification to the game must be approved by at least three-fourths of the committee. Without consensus, nothing will pass.

This is interesting because just this week the general manager subcommittee voted overwhelmingly to recommend delaying the Draft. Along with the widely cited Peter King interview with New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis (a member of that subcommittee), public desire to move the date of the Draft back was expressed by Denver GM John Elway in an interview on the Broncos’ official site: “We’d rather have it backed up so we can get all our scouts and everybody in, but if it’s limited and we can stay there and they’re not going to move the draft, we’re in good shape.”

It is remarkable that the league is attempting to stay on schedule for 2020, even in the face of recommendations by its own general managers to push things back. In fact six teams in the unanimous CEC meeting voted against their own general managers’ wishes (the GM subcommittee vote was 6-1) to try and get the Draft date moved. Does this modification to the Draft while still holding it on the same dates foreshadow future NFL events or even games without fans present?

Unless the situation improves dramatically, large gatherings of fans for sporting events pose quite a bit of risk. NFL games that happen on time this year could look very different from seasons past.

And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press had a fun talk with Mr. Orlovsky:

  • The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers has a new mock draft 2.0 out, and he gave the Detroit Lions a defensive player everyone in the fanbase is very high on.

  • Trey Flowers wants you to be smart and keep your loved ones protected: