NFL keeping draft in April but players won’t be there

As the Falcons prepare for the 2019 NFL draft, let's take a look back at the franchise's top pick each year since 2010.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL teams on Thursday that the draft will go on as originally scheduled for next month, the Associated Press reported.

The draft will still take place April 23-25. It was originally scheduled for a big outdoor production in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prospects and their families will not be at the draft. It is possible the draft will more resemble a studio TV show.

ExploreThe Falcons have the 16th pick in the first round.

In a memo obtained by the AP, Goodell said that “public health conditions are highly uncertain” and there was no guarantee of significant improvement by moving it to a later date as reasons for not moving the date of the draft.

The draft, which has become a huge extravaganza since leaving New York in 2015, will be scaled down and “televised in a way that reflects current conditions.”

» D.LED MOCK 1.0: Falcons select LSU's Lloyd Cushenberry

Even without the big party on the Strip, the draft should still draw considerable attention and TV ratings while the rest of the sports world is largely shut down because of the coronavirus.

Goodell instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees on Wednesday. On Thursday, he told teams to plan to conduct draft operations outside of team facilities and with the ability to talk to other teams as well as draft headquarters.

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