NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the league has begun inviting top prospects to participate virtually for next month's three-day event, which is scheduled to be televised but no longer include public events in Las Vegas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50 players are expected to be digitally present via video and social media, Pelissero added. Players and their families are also expected to receive a "draft package."
The NFL has been working on a virtual solution that would incorporate prospects in the broadcast from their locations, with current players and NFL legends also expected to be part of the draft, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport recently reported.
Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams last week stating the NFL's intentions to proceed with the draft as originally slated on April 23-25.
"Our plan is to connect you with NFL fans watching the Draft live from around the world, directly from your home!" NFL executive VP of football operations Troy Vincent wrote in a letter to invited prospects, according to Pelissero.
In Goodell's memo, he encouraged teams to "begin necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters."