Report: 2020 NFL Supplemental Draft Won't Be 'Significantly Altered' by COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

An official ball for the NFL Super Bowl LIV football game with the Kansas City Chiefs logo that was made at the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, in Miami. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The 2020 NFL supplemental draft is reportedly not expected to be impacted much by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that sources have said the supplemental draft likely won't be "significantly altered" despite some speculation that COVID-19's potential impact on the 2020 college football season could lead to more high-profile supplemental draft entries than usual.

The 2020 NFL supplemental draft is currently scheduled to be held in July.

Players who enter the supplemental draft normally do so if their eligibility for the upcoming season is in jeopardy due to academic issues, suspensions or other factors. Thamel added that the NFL is "making clear behind the scenes" that those who enter the 2020 supplemental draft must do so for similar reasons.

If Thamel's report is accurate, that means a top prospect who was eligible to enter the 2020 NFL draft such as Clemson running back Travis Etienne will not be able to enter the supplemental draft unless he can prove some type of hardship not related to coronavirus.

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding both the 2020 college football and NFL seasons. College and pro teams have been unable to meet in person and start their offseason programs due to the limitations in place from COVID-19.

It can be argued that college football is in a more difficult spot than the NFL logistically since programs across the nation are part of different conferences and have different decision-makers who could all view the situation through an alternative lens.

Also, the NCAA has perhaps been more cautious throughout the coronavirus crisis, as it canceled the men's and women's basketball tournaments and then canceled all spring sports as well.

It is possible that some or all of the 2020 college football season could be canceled, which would result in NFL draft prospects sitting out for an entire year before entering the league.

If the supplemental draft goes forth under normal conditions, it isn't likely that it will have a significant impact on the 2020 NFL season. Three players combined have been selected in the past two supplemental drafts after none were taken in 2016 or 2017.

No more than two players have been selected in a single supplemental draft since 1989 and the only two truly notable players to be taken in the supplemental draft over the past decade are Josh Gordon and Terrelle Pryor.

Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.