The NFL draft will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes.
In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings.
“We have reviewed this matter in the past few days with both the competition committee and CEC [a group of league executives],” Goodell wrote, “and this will confirm that clubs will conduct their draft operations remotely, with club personnel separately located in their homes.”
All team facilities were closed March 26 and Goodell has ordered them to remain shut indefinitely.
“We will reopen facilities when it is safe to do so based on medical and public health advice, and in compliance with government mandates,” he wrote.
The draft originally was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but the NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. On Monday, Goodell instructed the teams on how they should make their selections.
Several team general managers had sought a delay in the draft, basically citing an unfair playing field. But the owners pushed for the draft, the NFL’s biggest offseason event, to take place as scheduled. It is up to each team to ensure not only safe and healthy conditions, but to offset any perceived competitive imbalance under the guidelines set forth by Goodell.
“We are operating in an environment unlike anything we have experienced before,” Goodell added, “one that requires flexibility, patience and cooperation.”
Plans for televising the draft have not been finalized, though it is expected that ESPN and NFL Network will do so, perhaps in a joint effort.
Peterson named to All-Decade team
Former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the only non-quarterback to win an NFL Most Valuable Player Award during the past decade, was one of eight unanimous selections for the NFL’s Team of the 2010s, the league and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Monday.
Tom Brady, nearing age 43 and with a new team as he heads into his third decade, was the greatest of the slam dunks. Winning three of his six Super Bowls with the Patriots, Brady became the first quarterback to make multiple teams of the decade.
Joining Brady and Peterson as unanimous selections are defensive linemen J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald, kicker Justin Tucker, offensive tackle Joe Thomas and guard Marshal Yanda.
Peterson, still active in Washington and heading into his 14th season, was a Viking for the first seven years of the decade. During that time, he was named to the last four of his seven Pro Bowls, the last two of his three first-team All-Pro selections, the last two of his three rushing titles and the league MVP after carrying the Vikings to the playoffs with a 2,097-yard season in 2012.
Another former Viking to make the list was current Bears kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson. A first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2013, Patterson never lived up to his draft status as a receiver. But he continues to excel as a kick returner, earning All-Pro first team in 2019. In his four seasons with the Vikings, Patterson made two of his three Pro Bowls and earned two of his three Associated Press All-Pro nods.
The Hall’s 48-member selection committee, which includes the Star Tribune’s Mark Craig, voted for the team.