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Goodell said the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee was "unanimous and unequivocal that the draft should go forward as scheduled.” The NFL has already canceled its planned draft festivities in Las Vegas and will proceed with an altered format to protect participants from risks related to the outbreak.
“Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today,” Goodell wrote. “I also believe that the Draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed.”
The 2020 NFL Draft will be televised, but rookies and fans will not be allowed to attend the event in person. Goodell said teams should be prepared to conduct the draft and associated operations outside their facilities, with all necessary technology and essential personnel in place.
Goodell said the draft would be “conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions” but did not provide further details.
Earlier this week, the NFL informed all 32 franchises that their team facilities would be closed until further notice. The league has also barred teams from engaging in draft-related activities, including travel, prospect workouts and physicals.
The NFL Draft is broken down into three segments. The first round will take place on Thursday, April 23. Rounds two and three will be held on Friday, April 24 and rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 25.