The sports world, and really the entire globe, has been turned upside down with the coronavirus situation. As it pertains to the National Football League, their offseason has been going off as scheduled, but it certainly looks different.
After the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Days had begun before almost all were cancelled due to the pandemic. This meant scouting departments, and head coaches, haven’t had the one-on-one access to players they usually do. What have they been doing in the meantime? Meeting with players online.
“We have been evaluating these players since last spring.” Kevin Colbert told fans during a Steelers Unite conference call. “The scouts, myself, we have the coaches involved after the season. We are right in the middle of our draft meetings. We have been conducting those for the last week and a half and they have gone very well. We have a lot of information. Do we have all of the information that we would normally get? No. But we are no different than any other team in the league in that regards. But we do feel comfortable with the amount of information we have. When we do get ready to draft a player, we’ll have a combination of five or six opinions between the scouts, myself, assistant coaches, coordinators and Coach Tomlin. We feel good about where we are, we just have to make the most of it.”
One of the questions many fans were wondering was how NFL teams will handle pre-draft visits. These are the 30, or so, official visits which were announced to the media and gave some insight into which direction the organization might be headed in, as it pertains to the upcoming NFL Draft.
As Colbert told fans during that same conference call, the still plan on doing those interviews, and they might start as early as this week, but not in person.
“Actually, we haven’t done any yet. What we are doing—again, this would have been the week we were at owner’s meetings. We would have been heading out to pro days this coming Thursday, and we would have been doing some interviews on site at some places and continued to follow up with the visits the following weeks. What we are going to do, the visits that we had planned when we got back from the owner’s meetings and pro days, the visits we had planned, what we are going to do is a video/audio type interview with that player. Those will start up actually on Thursday. That is good at best. It is not as good as sitting down with a guy in person obviously, but again we will make the most of it and we will get the information we need.”
As Colbert mentioned earlier in the interview, it isn’t as if this is just a Steelers problem. The entire NFL is having to deal with these unique, and crazy, circumstances we are all currently living in. Nonetheless, it won’t stop the team from preparing for the draft, which will go off as scheduled, in hoping to build a Super Bowl championship team in 2020, and beyond.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft at the end of the month.