Saints' Mickey Loomis Wants NFL to Postpone Draft: This Isn't Fantasy Football

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2020

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis stands on the field before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Bill Feig/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is in favor of postponing the 2020 NFL draft amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During an appearance on The Peter King Podcast (h/t Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio), Loomis said the Saints have been unable to perform their usual predraft preparations and that pushing the draft back would be sensible:

"I'd be personally in favor of delaying the draft, so that we could get some of the work done that our scouts and personnel people ordinarily do. And then just the logistics of trying to conduct the draft with not having access to your draft rooms and your offices creates a lot of logistic problems. This is not a fantasy draft that you conduct out there with just a list of things on a piece of paper. There's a lot of things that go into it to prepare, and there’s a lot of work that is done during the draft."

The NFL announced earlier this month it plans on starting the draft on its originally scheduled date (April 23), albeit in a more limited form: "The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available. The selection process will be televised."

Loomis' comments echo the details of a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini.

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According to the report, some general managers were worried they'd lack the ability to adequately examine draft prospects. Schefter and Russini also pointed to the differing coronavirus measures being taken across the country, which could allow team personnel to meet in some states but not others.

Schefter appeared on Get Up on Wednesday and floated the idea of holding the draft over the course of a week, with one round on each day:

On March 13, the NFL issued a memo prohibiting team personnel from traveling to events such as pro days or in-person visits, and college players were barred from visiting a team's official facility, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

General managers and scouts had the opportunity to speak with and evaluate players at the NFL Scouting Combine. They also have years' worth of game film to analyze. One could argue there's enough available research with which teams can make an informed decision.

Having said that, the NFL might need to issue further guidelines—particularly pertaining to the structure of the traditional war room—to ensure teams are on equal footing on draft night.