In wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, the NFL has changed their pre-draft process to protect the prospects and coaches/scouts/front office members of the teams.
Under normal circumstances, prospects would be traveling to and from Dove Valley to meet with the Broncos officials where they would interview with them and even workout for them in some cases. However, the Coronavirus has thrown a big ol wrench into sports world and things have to be altered. So, the NFL announced on Friday some changes to their pre-draft visit rules this offseason.
“We have been closely monitoring developments relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking action based on the guidance of our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills and the medical experts at the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the memo stated. “After considering recent medical and public safety information related to COVID-19, we have decided to prohibit all in-person pre-Draft visits involving draft-eligible players effective at the end of this business day, until further notice.”
The memo also included these new rules for the pre-draft visit.
- Any draft-eligible player traveling to a club facility or other location to meet with club personnel
- Club personnel (including BLESTO or NFS scouts) traveling to any location, including a college campus to visit with a draft-eligible player
- NFL teams are permitted to conducted interviews with prospects via telephone or video conferences through the day prior to the draft — scheduled April 23-25 in Las Vegas.
Per the memo, the following new restrictions are applicable to any telephone or video conference:
- Clubs can schedule no more than three telephone or video conferences with an individual draft-eligible player per week (Sunday through Saturday)
- Each telephone or video conference can last no longer than one hour
- Such telephone or video conference cannot be conducted at a time that interferes with the player’s school schedule
So we shall see how this goes in the coming weeks. Keep in mind, the Broncos kept all their scouts and coaches(except Fangio) home during the Combine and this would be the only time these people would be able to meet the prospects face to face. So it will be interesting to see if this strategy has a negative impact on their process or not.
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