NFL Teams Reportedly Allowed in 2021 Draft Rooms with COVID-19 Precautions

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces that the Tennessee Titans selected Mississippi State's Jeffery Simmons during the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The NFL has reportedly informed its teams that they will be allowed to gather at team facilities for the 2021 NFL draft.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, team personnel will have to follow COVID-19 protocols at their facilities, including wearing masks and being socially distant.

Pelissero added that teams must submit their draft plans to NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills by March 26 for approval.

General managers, coaches and scouts conducted the draft from their homes last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which made for one of the most unique drafts in NFL history, but it appears as though the 2021 draft will look closer to past years with the exception of some safety precautions.

While teams can use their facilities, it isn't required, as Pelissero noted that offsite facilities can be submitted to the NFL for approval.

With that said, Pelissero also reported that it is expected "most" general managers and coaches will be in their teams' draft rooms. Regardless of where they are located, though, all GMs and head coaches will have a camera assigned to them, just like last year.

Last year's draft was entirely remote with coaches and general managers drafting from their homes— prospects reacted to the news from their homes and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks from his basement.

The 2021 NFL draft is scheduled to emanate from Cleveland, although it has yet to be announced if any fans will be permitted to attend should the draft occur in Cleveland.

It is also unclear if NFL draft prospects will be in attendance to walk across the stage and be congratulated by Goodell after they are selected.

The 2021 NFL draft will be a three-day event, with the first round on April 29, Rounds 2-3 on April 30 and Rounds 4-7 on May 1.

The Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick, and they are widely expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with that selection.