Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

ESPN's Todd McShay released his updated mock draft yesterday, which got me thinking: how will the cancellation of pro days due to COVID-19 affect draft boards and the hundreds of fringe NFL hopefuls?

The state of play: Top prospects, like all the guys on McShay's newest rankings, will be mostly fine. But for players who either weren't invited to last month's combine or performed poorly while there, pro days offer one last chance to prove themselves.

  • Presumptive No. 1 pick Joe Burrow understands its significance so well that he pushed for a pro day even amid the pandemic just to help improve his LSU teammates' draft stock.

By the numbers: There are thousands of draft-eligible players each year, but only a few hundred receive combine invites (337 in 2019) and even fewer actually get drafted (254 in 2019).

What they're saying: Lower-tier NFL draft hopefuls such as Ron'Dell Carter, a defensive end from FCS powerhouse James Madison, discussed his current predicament with WashPost's Kent Babb:

"We're stuck. All we can do now is work out, work out, work out — until we get a call ... It's just one of these things where no one knows what's going on. Like, no one knows. Nobody has been in this position before. The NFL probably doesn't even know what to do right now."

Pro day success stories:

  • Phillip Lindsay (RB, Broncos): The 2018 Colorado standout wowed scouts at his pro day, signed with Denver as an UDFA and has already made one Pro Bowl and rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.
  • Austin Ekeler (RB, Chargers): The D-II star out of Western Colorado didn't earn an invite to the 2017 combine, but his pro day 40-yard-dash and vertical would have placed him fourth and first among RB, respectively. He's since scored 22 TD in three seasons for the Chargers and just inked a four-year, $24.5 million deal.

The bottom line: Though it's not the end of the road for players like JMU's Carter, that road has gotten bumpy in a hurry, and it will be up to them to hustle and get creative to prove they belong.

Go deeper: NFL will hold draft as scheduled but cancel public events due to coronavirus

Go deeper

Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

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