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Denver Broncos general manager and team president John Elway joined calls for the NFL to postpone the draft because the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for teams that need more time to better vet their prospects.
Elway has been working with a limited staff per the NFL’s guidelines that only essential personnel is able to go to team facilities, telling the Broncos’ website on Wednesday that the college scouts’ ability to get to know the players has been essentially nonexistent because of travel limitations.
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“Our scouts haven’t been here and they’ve been off the road, so there’s a lot of information on the college side that we have not been getting,” he said. “For the most part, the staff on the pro side has been in the office and so we’re able to start this free-agent period, and we’re excited about where we sit right now having it started a couple weeks ago and to be where we are right now, we’re excited about it.”
A general manager subcommittee voted Tuesday to recommend that Commissioner Roger Goodell move the draft from its scheduled dates, which are April 23 through April 25, ESPN reported.
But the league has moved back only one league meeting and canceled public draft-related events in Las Vegas.
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday that he too would be in favor of “delaying the draft” as COVID-19 has drastically impacted the team’s ability to prepare for the draft.
“I’d be personally in favor of delaying the draft, so that we could get some of the work done that our scouts and 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,” Loomis said.
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Despite feeling optimistic about the draft, Elway agreed that delaying it would only serve to help the organizations.
“Really, we feel pretty good about where we are,” he said. “We’d rather have it backed up so we can get all our scouts and everybody in, but if it’s limited and we can stay there and they’re not going to move the draft, we’re in good shape.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.