A scheduling conflict at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall has pushed back one of the venue’s most popular annual events.
Next year, the 2014 NFL Draft will be delayed roughly two weeks from its typical start date. The first round will begin during prime time on Thursday, May 8th, and will conclude with the final three rounds on Saturday, May 10th, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
Last week, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked for his thoughts on the potential shift in dates for the draft, which will potentially alter other offseason preparations.
“That’s a tough one to comment on,” Harbaugh said following the team’s second OTA practice of the offseason. “I think our priority should be what’s best for the players – therefore what’s best for the sport.”
“I would think it would be in everyone’s best interest to have those rookie players have an opportunity to be as prepared as they can be, to contribute – that’s what we are paying them for. That’s what I would like to think where our priorities would be as a league.”
Wilson also reported that the change in draft date will not affect when rookies could report to their new teams, nor impact any of the other areas that had concerned Harbaugh. The coach is understandably worried about rookies being able to get acclimated in time for full-team activities like mandatory mini-camp or training camp.
No further changes are expected to take place for important offseason dates, including the scouting combine, league meetings or the start of the league year/free agency.