Late draft means tight window for rookies

The NFL draft being pushed from late April to May has forced NFL teams to make some changes.

The front office has more time to study players, but the coaches will now have to cram in their work with the rookies.

The Dallas Cowboys normally bring rookies into their facility the week after the draft for a rookie minicamp. But with the draft pushed back, those rookies will be at Valley Ranch on Monday, May 12, two days after the event is over.

Last year, the Cowboys moved the rookie minicamp back to give the rookies and themselves times to get prepared.

“We’ll have a tighter winder than what it’s been,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We anticipate a big group of guys coming to our facility after the draft.”

NFL teams also had problems getting some prospects into their facilities to begin workouts after the draft because of a rule that states a player’s last college semester must be completed.

Garrett said some of those rules might change with the draft being pushed back.

“Well, I think one thing the draft has done is enable our coaching staff to put a little more time into it,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We’ve got three former head coaches (Bill Callahan, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli) on our staff who have been in draft rooms, and it’s always good to get their input as to what they’ve done in their particular organizations. But more than anything, they’ve been able to spend some time on it. I think that’s been very helpful in terms of getting on the page with the way our personnel department, the way our scouts see it and the work they’ve done, 12 months worth of work, I think that’s very helpful. You just get to do more diligence.”