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NFL announces changes to pre-draft visit process


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos' pre-draft process will look a little different in 2020, at least for the time being.

As part of the NFL's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the league sent a memo to teams on Friday that all in-person, pre-draft visits with draft-eligible players are prohibited until further notice.

Teams were previously allowed to host 30 prospects for in-person visits in the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft.

Under the new protocol, teams are prohibited from meeting with draft-eligible players at their club facility or at any other location. Club personnel are also no longer allowed to travel to college campuses to meet with prospects, which would include Pro Days for colleges around the country.

In the absence of visits, teams are allowed to interview players over the phone or via video conferences. Teams are required to report any of these calls to the player personnel department.

As with the in-person pre-draft visits, there are restrictions for the calls. Each club can hold no more than three phone/video calls per week, and the calls can last no longer than an hour.

The calls must also not interfere with a prospect's school schedule.

The league announced in the memo that it will work with the Competition Committee and General Managers Advisory Committee to determine the best method to provide medical information about the prospects.

In the memo, the league explains that the changes have been made to protect the health of club employees, draft prospects and the public. The league also emphasized that the rules would ensure a level competitive playing field.

The Broncos previously met with several prospects in Indianapolis during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, but pre-draft visits allow teams to either visit with prospects who were not at the Combine or re-visit with players who were in Indianapolis.

The NFL Draft is currently scheduled to be held April 23-25 in Las Vegas.

The decision to prohibit pre-draft visits is the latest piece of the NFL's response to COVID-19. The NFL announced Thursday that league meetings in late March would be cancelled. The league has given no indication that the start of the league year, March 18, will be moved.

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