The 2020 NFL draft is to go ahead as scheduled next month but players, fans and media will not be present because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It will be held from 23-25 April in a television studio, with players interviewed via video conference.
The draft was due to take place in Las Vegas and the NFL had already cancelled all public events.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it "can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country".
He added: "There is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favourable than they are today."
The NFL draft is one of the biggest events in the United States' sporting calendar, with all 32 teams recruiting talent from the American collegiate system amid wall-to-wall media coverage.
About 500,000 fans attended last year's draft in Nashville.
In a memo sent to franchises, Goodell said: "We will not be bringing prospects and their families to the draft, and the draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.
"All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters."