For now, at least, the NFL draft is still scheduled to be held from April 23-25 in Las Vegas.
So, 49ers scouts, talent-evaluators and the front office will prepare accordingly to get ready. The 49ers have the 31st selection in Round 1, plus five more picks: two in Round 5, one in Round 6 and two in Round 7.
Scouts will still be able to study film, call coaches and other evaluators, and put together reports.
But what the draft looks like may be quite different than what had been anticipated. Just as the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA Basketball Tournament have taken steps to shut down games for the safety of fans, employees and players, the NFL may change the structure of the draft this year, says Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Rapoport says the league will consider all options in the coming weeks.
“Will there be fans there?” said Rapoport. “Will it be a big-time, return to sports moment for the NFL if the nation gets over this virus in that time? Or, will there be no fans? Will it be in a different location, potentially conducted by conference call? All of these things are options.”
This past year, when the 49ers selected defensive end Nick Bosa No. 2 overall, some Niners fans were able to travel to Nashville, Tenn., to enjoy the moment. That may not be the case this year for the 31st selection.
On Thursday, the 49ers announced they will take action to stop the spread of Covid-19, closing operations at the SAP Performance Center and Levi’s Stadium.
“Employees, with limited exemptions, have been instructed to work remotely while coaches and scouts will return home by the weekend,” the 49ers announced. “Public and private team events have also been canceled in accordance with these guidelines.”