With some NCAA leagues postponing their season, it could have a tremendous impact on the NFL offseason and Cleveland Browns.
As the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences have cancelled football in the fall, you can’t help but wonder about the other three power five conferences and the ability to complete a college football season.
Instead of completely scraping the entire 2020 season, those two conferences have said it is their goal to play the season in spring 2021, although the Big-12, SEC and ACC still plan on playing in the fall.
It is still up in the air whether that can happen or not, but college football will look a lot different if we even see it at all. That obviously affects the Cleveland Browns and the entire NFL in several different ways.
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The biggest impact will obviously be on the 2021 NFL Draft, which is currently scheduled to begin on April 20 in the home of the orange and brown, Cleveland, Ohio. But if these major conferences actually play spring football, their season wouldn’t be completed by that date.
So that would likely mean the daft was postponed to probably the beginning of summer, even though a lot of the prospects would likely opt out of a spring season.
For the college players who would decide to play in the spring and then enter the NFL, they would be asked to play two football seasons in a calendar year, which can’t be good for their health. Would the NFL even let those rookies play or make them take a redshirt year?
It would even impact the 2022 draft because those prospects will have just played two football seasons in a year. There will be injuries, poor performance and overall fatigue that will make players draft stock fall, or forbid a career-ending injury.
A spring football season would also mean the cancellation of pre-draft events like the Combine and the Senior Bowl. Those are two major platforms where prospects can help their stock and it can sometimes make the difference between a player being drafted or not.
There will also be an impact on scouting because most teams won’t play a full schedule and they may not have some of their top players. That will make tape hard to evaluate because the best talent won’t be competing against each other.
College football seems to have no real direction or leadership right now. As a result, their season will be a mess if they find a way to play at all.
The NFL will likely do what it can to accommodate college prospects the best they can, but they only have so much wiggle room. The CBA says the draft has to take place before the end of June, which would likely be right at the end of a spring season.
Then there is the issue of if the other three power five conferences play in the fall. Do the players get to take part in pre-draft activities? That doesn’t seem fair to them, but it also doesn’t seem fair that players from the Pac-12 and Big Ten can’t participate because they would be in the middle of their “season.”
College football has some serious issues and they will effect the NFL one way or another. Let’s hope they see the errors of their “minor league” and give us pro football with no hiccups.