The 76th NFL draft will go on as scheduled. But make no mistake. It won't be business as usual when Commissioner Roger Goodell strides to the lectern at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night.
Oh, sure. There will be seven rounds. It'll take three days. And 254 players will be chosen amid the hoots, hollers and groans of football-starved fans from coast to coast.
But this will be different. The ongoing lockout, which has shut down all league operations except the draft, will affect this year's selection process as well.
Rules have been changed, for starters. There haven't been, nor will there be, any trades involving current NFL players. Teams can trade draft picks, but can't pick a player and trade him to another team, a la Eli Manning for Philip Rivers in 2004.