The NFL Draft will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes.
In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday and obtained by the Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings.
“We have reviewed this matter in the past few days with both the competition committee and CEC (a group of league executives),” Goodell wrote, “and this will confirm that clubs will conduct their draft operations remotely, with club personnel separately located in their homes.”
All team facilities were closed on March 26 and Goodell has ordered them to remain shut indefinitely.
“We will reopen facilities when it is safe to do so based on medical and public health advice, and in compliance with government mandates,” he wrote.
The draft originally was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but the NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. On Monday, Goodell instructed the teams on how they should plan to make their selections.
“We have made this decision for several reasons,” he wrote. “All clubs will not have access to their facilities, which is contrary to the fundamental equity principle that all clubs operate in a consistent and fair way.
“Moreover, we want all NFL personnel to comply with government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices. Our staff will carry out its responsibilities in the same way, operating in separate locations outside of our offices. And after consulting with medical advisers, we cannot identify an alternative that is preferable from a medical or public health perspective, given the varying needs of clubs, the need properly to screen participants, and the unique risk factors that individual club employees may face.”
Plans for televising the draft have not been finalized, though it is expected that ESPN and NFL Network will do so, perhaps in a joint effort.
Jags re-sign Davis
The Jaguars have re-signed defensive tackle Carl Davis (Sterling Heights Stevenson High), who was suspended without pay in February for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Davis played in three games in 2019 – two for Jacksonville and one for Indianapolis.
An Iowa graduate, Davis previously spent time with Baltimore (2015-17) and Cleveland (2018). He has 32 tackles in 36 NFL games. The Ravens selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.