AFC Exec: Roger Goodell's Draft Warning to Teams 'Ridiculous and Embarrassing'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during a press conference prior to Super Bowl LIV at the Hilton Miami Downtown on January 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the 54th playing of the Super Bowl, Sunday February 2nd. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

An anonymous AFC executive was highly critical of a memo sent Thursday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the upcoming NFL draft. 

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the exec called Goodell's warning about publicly criticizing the draft remaining on April 23-25 amid the coronavirus pandemic "ridiculous and embarrassing."

In the memo, which solidified the NFL's stance that the draft will move forward as scheduled, Goodell wrote that "public discussion of issues relating to the draft serves no useful purpose and is grounds for disciplinary action."

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini reported this week that while the NFL owners and league officials wanted the draft to occur as scheduled, the general manager subcommittee recommended that the draft be pushed back.

General managers are reportedly concerned that some teams will have a competitive advantage since they may be allowed to use their team facilities, while those that reside in states under lockdown would have to conduct the draft from home.

Also, the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented teams from meeting with players in person and carrying out physicals. It also resulted in the cancellation of many pro days. As a result, talent evaluators must base their decisions solely on game tape and the NFL Scouting Combine.

New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis was among those who spoke out against keeping the draft in place during a recent appearance on The Peter King Podcast (h/t Schefter and Russini):

"I'd be personally in favor of delaying the draft, so that we can get some of the work done that our scouts and our 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 work that goes into it to prepare, and there's a lot of work that is done during the draft. Listen, it'll be very, very difficult to conduct that and do it in a way that you're doing justice to the process."

While the draft will take place on April 23-25, it will no longer happen in Las Vegas with thousands of fans in attendance.

The NFL has yet to announce how the draft will be presented, but it will still be televised. The draft figures to have an old-school feel with teams likely having to call their picks in to the commissioner.

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