Report: NFL Not Interested in Delaying 2021 Draft If CFB Season Played in Spring

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2020

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this still image from video provided by the NFL, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks from his home in Bronxville, New York during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Should the COVID-19 pandemic push the upcoming college football season into the spring, the NFL has little interest in delaying the 2021 draft, according to USA Today's Dan Wolken.

The Cleveland Browns are slated to host next year's draft, which will run from April 29 through May 1.

The NFL held the 2020 draft amid the pandemic. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks from his basement, and team personnel worked remotely.

While the pandemic disrupted the process, it didn't alter the timeline in the same way postponing the 2020 college football season would.

In April, Stadium's Brett McMurphy surveyed 130 FBS athletic directors, with 114 ADs responding. Fourteen percent of the group thought the season may not kick off until January or February 2021. A traditional 12-game regular season plus conference championships and bowl games would mean teams are continuing to play well after the draft.

Were that scenario to happen, McMurphy noted one concern is star players such as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence could opt out of the season to focus on the draft.

The NCAA has yet to announce any decision to delay the start of the 2020 campaign. Six games are scheduled for Aug. 29 to get action underway. 

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However, the upward trend of confirmed COVID-19 cases could put that in jeopardy.

With some teams resuming limited workouts in June, multiple programs have reported positive tests among players. The University of Arizona paused the return of its student-athletes altogether.

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