COVID and the NFL Draft


The NFL Draft has been a part of the NFl since the 1930’s and was proposed by Bert Bell, who was at the time the Philadelphia Eagles and would later become the commissioner of the NFL, and since then there has been a NFL draft held every year resulting in a competitively balanced league. The NFL Draft is when the NFL acquires young college players who sign up to be selected in the draft because they feel that they’re ready and that their performance in college was good enough for NFL teams to want to pick them during the draft. 

Teams won’t just pick a player because they signed up for the draft but there are also scouts for each team who come to watch and gather information for players that their teams may want to pick up if they sign up for the draft even before they enter college. Not every player who signs up for the draft gets chosen and some leave without being drafted but the players who are drafted get to walk up on stage and shake hands with the commissioner then be prepared to be interviewed especially if you were in the first round of the draft. Due to Covid, this year’s draft was held differently than all of the past drafts, in terms of players who are being drafted are not allowed to attend the draft in person and be interviewed. 

In CBS’s article about the 2021 draft it says that “ The general public will be allowed into the draft festivities, but those who are vaccinated will have privileges. Fans that are vaccinated will be permitted to sit in the “Inner Circle,” located near the draft stage”. The management of each team was to be fully vaccinated in order to attend their own team rooms and review over who they would pick. Simple and understandable rules such as masks and social distancing are mandatory, any temperature above 100.4⁰F will be flagged and sent home, and all staff will also be required to complete a health screening questionnaire before entering their working location. 

These are a peek into all of the rules that all people attending the draft must follow in order to be sure that know incidents happen during the draft. So just imagine the amount of regulations the fans, players, coaches, staff, and everybody else must follow for every single game throughout the whole entire upcoming season in order for it to not lead to any Covid outbreaks and slow down the season. Roger Goodell, who is the NFL’s commissioner, says that he expects full stadiums this season and that 30 out of the 32 total NFL teams will be allowed to play in front of full capacity crowds. Some fans say that the commissioner is making these statements a bit too quickly and should consider that there could be a second wave of the coronavirus coming to the United States. While others are fully on board for the upcoming season and ready to finally go back to attending their team’s games in-person.

COVID has caused fans to wonder what will happen next for the NFL and how they will recover while also keeping in mind the regulations created by the CDC in order to maintain the spread of the coronavirus.  Major NFL events such as the NFL Draft were changed drastically in 2021 in order to keep everyone safe and also allow for fans to finally attend it in-person and make it entertaining. Overall, COVID has made it where no one knows what is going to happen and everybody including the NFL unsure about what will happen next so all anybody can do is follow the regulations and pray for the best which is exactly what is going to happen for this upcoming NFL season and hope everything goes smoothly like the draft.