The NFL draft has been held on the fourth weekend of April each year since the draft converted to its current three-day format in 2010. In 2014 and potentially beyond, it appears as though the draft season is going to be extended by a few weeks.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Monday that the NFL and NFL Players' Association are on the verge of moving the draft into May. In 2014, the draft is expected to be held May 15-17, the third weekend of May.
According to NFL.com, a scheduling conflict may be an immediate reason for the change in 2014. Christian religious holiday Easter falls on the third Sunday of April next year, while the Radio City Rockettes' "Spring Spectacular" is reportedly scheduled to be held in late April at draft venue Radio City Music Hall.
NFL Network's Albert Breer tweeted that the change would likely begin as a "one-year trial," but Schefter tweeted the two sides are already negotiating changes for 2015 and 2016 as well. The draft would be tentatively scheduled for May 7-9, 2015 and May 5-7, 2016, according to another Schefter tweet.
While the expected draft date for 2014 would be a three-week change from the fourth weekend of April, the draft season would only be extended two weeks in 2015 and one week in 2016 under the tentatively scheduled dates.
Many NFL fans and media are unhappy about the projected changes, as it would extend the waiting period until the NFL draft and limit vacation periods for NFL team personnel and media.
On the flip side, extending the draft season would increase the time scouts have to evaluate prospects leading up to the draft. Additionally, it would shorten the time between the end of draft season and the beginning of training camps, the only time period of the NFL year which is relatively quiet in terms of activity.