Get ready for a 'hub-and-spokes' format for 2020 NFL draft

The NFL’s draft is on track for April 23-25.

But what will it look like? That is a work in progress.

“The schedule remains smooth,” said Peter O’Reilly, the executive vice president of the league for club affairs and league events, during a conference call Tuesday.

“We are confident that we can deliver a powerful, competitive and unifying design,” he said.

The three-day event was moved from Las Vegas amid the COVID-19 outbreak and will take place in remote locations, including video connectivity with approximately 50 prospects in their homes, as well as the option to virtually bring in some power and former players and even fans .

O’Reilly described it as a hub-and-spokes format, with Commissioner Roger Goodell at the hub announcing the picks, and the spokes extended to all 32 club locations.

The competition has outlined four basic principles for the event, which will be broadcast by ABC, ESPN and NFL Network:

  1. Ensure that the selection process is competitive, efficient and safe for all concerned.
  2. We celebrate all of the concept prospects in this life-changing moment and welcome them to the NFL family, even if we do it remotely.
  3. Engaging and escaping for fans. Telling the human stories on TV and social. Give fans access so fans can gather virtually and share their passion for their team.
  4. Use the three days of the concept to help support and raise money for those most vulnerable and affected by the coronavirus crisis.

O’Reilly said the competition will maintain consistent health guidelines across all locations, including potential customers’ homes. Those don’t include more than 10 people in each room, with everyone a physical distance of at least 6 feet apart; consistent hand hygiene; and anyone who is sick, has a fever or upper respiratory symptoms will stay away.

In other news, the NFL expects to publish its 2020 schedule after the draft and by May 9 at the latest.

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