With the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruptions around the world in 2020, it was no surprise that the NFL was heavily affected by it last year. In what was going to be a grand NFL Draft event in Nevada where players were carried on a boat to the center stage, the 2020 NFL Draft was switched to a virtual event where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called out the picks from the comfort of his home.
This year, however, NFL prospects will be allowed to attend the 2021 Draft in-person, and several first-round players have already announced their decision to attend in person.
NFL: League taking COVID-19 precautions for the Draft
With just less than a week left before the 2021 NFL Draft, 13 prospects have already announced they will be in Cleveland for this nationwide event.
- QB Mac Jones
- QB Trey Lance
- QB Zach Wilson
- WR Ja'Marr Chase
- WR Devonta Smith
- WR Jaylen Waddle
- TE Kyle Pitts
- OL Rashawn Slater
- DL Christian Barmore
- DE Gregory Rousseau
- LB Micah Parsons
- CB Caleb Farley
- CB Patrick Surtain II
Fans will be surprised to see that top QB prospects Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are not on the list. Both QB's have stated they will be attending the Draft virtually from their respective locations. We know Lawrence will be the first-overall pick this year, so fans are shocked to see that he will not be there in attendance for the grand stage.
As of right now, it's unclear whether any other prospects will be in-person, or if the NFL has a deadline for these players to determine whether they will attend in-person or virtually.
Either way, this year's Draft will be an exciting one to watch. The 2021 NFL Draft begins at 8 PM ET on Thursday, April 29, and will last through Saturday, May 1.