By Sammy Strobel
Due to the pandemic, this year’s NFL draft will be done virtually. There are 255 players that need to be distributed among 32 teams. The 2020 NFL draft will take place on April 23-25.
The NFL based the decision to go virtual on two factors: the fact that there is no guarantee that the social distancing standards will change before April 23 and that the sports world is longing for a sense of normality.
The league is working hard to ensure a seamless event. Everyone involved is required to have a reliable internet connection, as well as backups. All 32 teams will be connected through a single video conference. General managers are still able to discuss and debate, if necessary, before a final decision is made. Once a decision is made, general managers can directly notify the league officials. A full mock trial will take place on April 20, to practice and correct any mistakes ahead of time.
At the moment, the NFL has decided not to give teams extra time for each round. Round one will get 10 minutes. Round two will have seven minutes, and rounds three through six will have five minutes. Round seven will receive four minutes.
If a team misses a pick, the player personnel department is required to stop the clock. This ensures that an intended pick or trade can occur. This will allow the team to get back in line as soon as possible.
The draft will be available to watch on ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network for April 23, 24 and 25. Round one will take place on Thursday, April 23, from 8-11:30 p.m. ET. Rounds 2 and 3 will occur on Friday, April 24, from 7-11:30 p.m. ET, and rounds 4-7 will occur on Saturday, April 25, from noon-7 p.m. ET.