As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rock the sports world and the country, the NFL was forced into making a tough decision that affects former LSU players. On Friday, the NFL decided to ban all on-campus pro days and in-person visits at club facilities.
"We have not taken this step lightly, but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft-eligible players, and the public. It also has the ancillary benefit of ensuring competitive equity," the league stated in a memo.
LSU's pro day, which was scheduled for April 3, will now no longer take place, which leaves a ton of questions in the air for the prospective former Tigers that were hoping to showcase their skills one last time to NFL scouts.
Quarterback Joe Burrow, for example, elected not to throw at the combine as he was just starting training after a long championship run. The presumptive No. 1 overall pick said he would throw at LSU's pro day which will now no longer take place.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and receiver Justin Jefferson both had phenomenal combines a few weeks back. Jefferson firmly implanted himself into first round pick status while Edwards-Helaire moved to the top of day two discussion.
While the pro day cancellation shouldn't hurt Burrow's, Edwards-Helaire's or Jefferson's draft stock in the slightest, it could have an impact on a few of their teammates.
Safety Grant Delpit elected not to go through the combine drills either as he continued to nurse an ankle injury that hampered him down the stretch of the regular season. Delpit could've used the pro day as final proof that his ankle injury was all behind him as he's turned up in a ton of mock drafts at the end of the first round.
Offensive linemen Lloyd Cushenberry and Damien Lewis could've benefited from LSU's pro day as both suffered hamstring injuries while competing in the combine. Both Cushenberry and Lewis are seen as day two selections most likely. Just where in those middle rounds they go could've been helped with a positive pro day.
For players that weren't invited to pro day like senior guard Adrian Magee, senior receiver Derrick Dillon and senior defensive end Breiden Fehoko, outside of an interview, the film is really all the NFL teams will have to go on. Pro days are constructed for players like them who can prove their value even though they may be considered under-the-radar players.
While the memo issued by the NFL will ban all in-person visits, it will allow each NFL team to request telephone or video interviews with three draft-eligible players per week. The calls must be no longer than one hour and must be sent through the Player Personnel department.
This process, while not perfect, will allow former LSU players to at least go through some semblance of an interview process.
At this time, the 2020 NFL draft is still expected to be held from April 23-25 which gives teams six more weeks to thoroughly study and reach out to any players they're interested in. With plenty of purple and gold flavor in this draft pool, you can still expect plenty of LSU names to come out of commissioner Roger Goodell's mouth.