NFL inviting prospects to virtual draft

Although the 2020 NFL Draft won’t be held live in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league is making plans to include many of the top prospects in the virtual event.

According to an NFL Network report, the league has been inviting prospects to participate virtually, with 50 or more expected to be involved “via video, social media, etc.” The report adds players and families will receive a “draft package,” although it’s unclear what that entails.

The draft is scheduled for April 23-25 and will be held entirely online after the spread of COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the planned live event in Las Vegas.

The NFL is expected to involve 50-plus prospects in the 2020 draft, communicating virtually, “via video, social media, etc,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

“The NFL has begun inviting top prospects to participate—virtually—in next month’s draft,” Pelissero tweeted on Monday. “In all, 50+ are expected to be involved via video, social media, etc. No trip to Las Vegas, but players and families will receive a ‘draft package’ as well.”

The league canceled the live portion of the draft earlier this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. The draft was originally slated to be held in Las Vegas on April 23-25, and it will still be held on the same dates despite the altered format.

“The decision reflects our foremost priority—the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl.”

There are more than 729,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally across at least 171 countries.

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