Virtual NFL Draft set to take place on April 23-25


          From April 23 to 25, the best of the best college football players are planned to be drafted by the NFL to continue their childhood dreams of becoming professional stars. Originally planned to be hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, the NFL Draft was set to hold thousands of fans in attendance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 draft will not hold public draft events for fans. This does not come as a surprise due to the suspension of many collegiate and professional sports. According to league officials, the NFL Draft will no longer be held in Las Vegas due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. The draft will still take place, but the league is expected to move forward in a studio setting broadcast. As of mid-March, the NFL wanted the April draft to go on as scheduled despite the GM’s recommendations to push it back. The temporary plan was to draft in a studio setting and not in front of a large gathering. At the beginning of April, the league officials had come to a consensus to host the draft on ZOOM. League commissioner, Roger Goodell will announce the 2020 1st round picks from his basement. This raised some concerns for teams as they are worried that other teams will hack their Zoom calls during the draft. 

          At the end of February, many collegiate players showed off their talent at the NFL Combine. Conducted at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the showcase hosted over 300 players. All of the NFL teams were able to get an early look at these young stars. These players went through various physical and mental tests to see if they are good enough for the NFL. With an array of drills such as the highly anticipated 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and shuttle run, many of the league’s new prospects were put to the test.

         The countless other talented athletes who were not invited to the draft have to show off their skills and prove that they belong. They do so at their colleges’ Pro Day, where NFL managers and coaches can watch drills similar to those that take place at the combine. Even the players who were invited to the combine get the opportunity to show off their skills once again at Pro Day. Due to COVID-19, all NCAA events have been canceled. This includes the remaining Pro Days that have yet to be held. With such circumstances, many of these athletes who did not attend the draft seem to be stranded without much hope. This is very sad to see, as such an outbreak as COVID-19 has taken away many beloved pastimes and even jobs for many people around the world.