It’s now official. The 2014 NFL Draft will no longer be held at the end of April, and will instead take place on May 8th. The NFL just released this statement regarding the changes:
The decision was made after discussions with club personnel and key NFL business partners. No decision has been made regarding the dates of the NFL Draft in 2015 and beyond. A variety of alternatives are being explored, teams were told, including holding the draft at Radio City or at other locations, either in the New York area or in other cities.
At this time, changes are not anticipated in the offseason calendar for 2015 and beyond that would reduce the number of practice days or otherwise limit the offseason program.”
This 2013 NFL Draft was held on April 25-27, so it is just an extra two weeks more of mock drafts, Mel Kiper’s hair, mock drafts and really just more attention paid to the NFL in general.
Here is how the 2014 offseason will look:
- The annual NFL Scouting combine in Indianapolis will be held from February 18-25
- The new league year and free agency will begin on March 11, 2014
- The NFL Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 23-26
- The 2014 NFL Draft will be held at Radio City Music Hall on May 8-10
The NFL has held the draft at Radio City Music Hall since 2006, but an Easter event made the venue unavailable during the last weekend of April. That’s at least what the NFL wants you to think, but as Clark Judge adequately put it, they really just want two more weeks of added exposure that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise:
It’s called maximum exposure, and it’s always wise to follow the NFL here. It opened up the combine to the media, and the move was a widespread success. Then it moved the draft to prime-time, and interest has soared. Now, moving the draft back two weeks won’t do anything but tantalize expectant audiences, and that translates to wider coverage and bigger audiences for a league that lives by the mantra that more is better.