There will be no Big 10 football season in 2020 and more NCAA divisions will soon follow and it will impact the NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft is scheduled, as normal, in late April of 2021. It is supposed to be held in Cleveland this year but honestly, that very well could change.
The Miami Dolphins will once again enter the 2021 off-season with draft picks to spend but they may be waiting a little longer than normal. As rumors swirl that the Big 10 will announce that they will cancel the season, we can expect other divisions to follow soon. Some, however, are looking at a potential spring season which would have a bigger impact on the NFL Draft.
If all the college divisions cancel their seasons the NFL Draft should continue as planned in 2021. No season will not have a huge impact on where players will end up being drafted, but that comes with a caveat we will get to in a moment.
If there is spring football, presumably that would start in late February or March with a scaled schedule. There would be a big possibility that the NCAA season would either be just wrapping up or still being played when the draft was scheduled to take place. If that is the case, expect the NFL to move the draft to June or July, late May would also likely be a target depending on when the NCAA wrapped their season.
As to draft-eligible players, most will likely retain their current slotting but there will also be more than a few players that will be eligible that will opt to return to school in the hopes of improving their draft stock. We see this every year but this year it could be one of the most we have seen.
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In addition, there are juniors who looked ahead to the 2020 football season in an effort to improve. They banked on having another season to showcase their talents. They will not get that chance if there is no season and because they are seniors, they likely will have no options to return for a 2021 season.
There will be a lot of money lost for the college kids and at the same time, some of the top junior talents will now find themselves mixed with a deeper draft class that will cost them positions as well. For a team like the Dolphins, it could be really the right time to have multiple draft picks.
Next year, there very well could one of the deepest classes in NFL history with 2020 seniors, 2019 juniors, mixing with the sophomores who will become eligible for the draft without having played their 2020 season as juniors. This will be interesting to see if the NCAA gives players an opportunity to return when normally they would not be eligible.