With the coronavirus pandemic preventing large gatherings, NFL fans will still get to see their team’s No. 1 pick on draft day. As a workaround, the NFL has started inviting prospects to be a part of the NFL draft virtually.
What exactly does that mean? Well, it means prospects will still conduct interviews and be featured on video during the NFL draft, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
In a letter to invited prospects, NFL Executive VP of Football Ops Troy Vincent writes: “Our plan is to connect you with NFL fans watching the Draft live from around the world, directly from your home!”— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 30, 2020
So yes, the NFL’s newest players will join the league and #StayAtHome
That’s not a huge departure from what normally happens. Yes, plenty of first-round players are actually at the event, but players in every other round are typically shown at home surrounded by their family and friends. There will probably be fewer draft parties this year, but athletes will still get to celebrate their moment and speak to their new fanbase.
The NFL draft will still take place despite some frustration
Though the world is grappling with a pandemic, the NFL draft is still scheduled to take place as normal. The event will begin April 23 and run through April 25.
While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is happy things are staying consistent, others in the NFL don’t feel the same way. Some scouts are upset they won’t be able to evaluate players like normal in the lead-up to the draft. Losing that face time, or the ability to work out players in person, is considered necessary for some.
NFL draft will be different ... but maybe not that different
The coronavirus is going to alter quite a bit about the NFL draft. There won’t be a major gathering with fans, and no players will be in attendance at the event.
Other than that, though, the experience shouldn’t differ greatly. Broadcasts should still be able to put on a show similar to what fans have come to expect, and players being available digitally won’t be a huge departure.
There will be plenty about the 2020 NFL draft that will look different, but a fair amount of it will remain familiar. That’s a good thing, especially right now.
More from Yahoo Sports: