My 2024 NFL Draft Experience

Sights and sounds from the NFL Draft Media Experience

Day One


I was lucky enough to attend and cover the 2024 NFL Draft, and I wanted to share my experience and everything I saw and heard during my 3 days in Detroit. I live near Chicago, so it was a quick 4.5-hour drive Thursday morning that I listened to a mix of draft podcasts, satellite radio, and anything else to keep my hype levels high. I soon arrived, checked into my hotel, and was picked up by my friend Dustin Ludke. The much shorter drive from my hotel was a mix of draft predictions, rumors, hopes, and dreams. I remember talking about a possible Bears trade-up for MHJ and weighing the idea’s merits; I was against given the likely price. I remember thinking the best move was trading down from nine because the package of picks would help us more. We talked about the whole first round, wondering if the Patriots would trade out, certain the Chargers would, and wondering when the Vikings would finally make their big trade-up that everyone knew was coming. We didn’t bother to discuss anything truly absurd–like a certain team taking a certain quarterback.

Once we arrived, we waited in line for our media passes and found the media room. Picture a large, open room full of folding tables, chairs, a hundred power strips, and projectors to help track everything. We made our way into a smaller, still-empty room where the prospects would be interviewed after their selections. Here is how it works: player X is drafted. He works past the national coverage, some VIP channels, and eventually to our room. It has about 200 chairs, a series of professional video cameras along the back of the room, and a table decked with helmets and an NFL tablecloth. We grabbed chairs in the first row and proceeded to wait. We killed time by chatting with other media, grabbing some dinner–catered food provided–way too much free soda, and a bucket of coffee. Eventually, our long wait was over and the prospects came through. It was at least an hour after round one started when we saw the first player stroll in, and the last guy was done right around 1:30 am. I originally planned to run down towards the actual stage–or as close as I could get–but soon found it reached capacity and was closed. I would have to watch Caleb’s big moment on TV instead. Here are some pictures and memories from the players in attendance that we had the chance to interview. NOTE: I have a link to a full video interview for each player as well as other pictures form my weekend.

Pick 1: Caleb Williams

I was lucky enough to ask Caleb a question. I inquired about the legacy of Bears quarterbacks (yes, I’m using legacy loosely) and when Caleb would break the pathetic Bears QB touchdown record of 11. He turned the question to stress winning and that his only focus is a Super Bowl for the Bears.

Pick 2: Jayden Daniels

Jayden was asked about being the leader of the Commanders and talked about earning his role, needing to put in the hard work to make his place on the team.

Pick 3: Drake Maye

Drake Maye was the youngest-looking prospect in attendance and he was clearly excited to be the newest Patriots quarterback. He talked about this being one of the best nights of his life and missing the people of North Carolina.

Pick 4: Marvin Harrison Jr.

Marvin struck me as soft-spoken and I imagine his play will do all the chatter for him. He talked about being ready to get to Arizona, get the playbook, and get to work.

Pick 6: Malik Nabers

Malik Nabers talked about how special it was to go through this process with Jayden Daniels and Brian Thomas Jr. He also described a great relationship with Brian Daboll.

Pick 7: J.C. Latham

J.C. Latham had the best smile of the day–with what I can only describe as diamond teeth. This went well with his custom silk suit, and he talked about a 30-minute visit that turned into two hours as he hit it off with his new team.

Pick 9: Rome Odunze

Rome Odunze was friendly with Caleb Williams before the draft, making every Bears fan nervous. I was able to ask him what it was like to be part of Chicago’s next great duo, but he shrugged it off and insisted they have to earn it first. He also mentioned being excited to learn from two vets in DJ Moore and Keenan Allen.

Pick 15: Laiatu Latu

Laiatu Latu showed a genuine gratefulness to be here given his path: overcoming a medical retirement. Latu had a beaming smile and showed a readiness to start his professional journey with the Colts.

Pick 17: Dallas Turner

Dallas Turner had a sweet green suit and said he was just happy to be drafted when asked if he had a ‘chip’ due to falling to 17. He also showed genuine excitement to be working with coach Brian Flores.

Pick 22: Quinyon Mitchell

Quinyon Mitchell talked about learning perseverance from his time in Toledo. He was asked how he feels being a strong man coverage corner who might be asked to drop off into zone; his response? Whatever you ask me to do I’m gonna do. I love that.

Pick 23: Brian Thomas Jr

Brian Thomas showed excitement to be playing with Trevor Lawrence and how he uses his speed to create separation on one-on-ones. I loved the bowtie.

Pick 24: Terrion Arnold

Terrion Arnold had his best moment on stage–grabbing the mic and hyping up the hometown crowd. He had a genuine energy about being in Detroit and I think Lions fans should be excited about a great pick.

Pick 27: Darius Robinson

Darius Robinson was my favorite interview of the day and probably the most striking outfit. Robinson is a big dude, but he has a smile that tells you he wouldn’t hurt a fly outside of game time. Robinson had a great interview moment where he was asked about his prep and proceeded to describe his weekly routine in great detail. I’m excited to watch Robinson moving forward.


Everything Else I Saw

As day one ended, it was time to go back to the hotel and crash. I finally made it to bed around 2:30. Day 2 started with lunch. We chatted out day 2, more predictions and hopes, and then back to the draft. Here were some highlights from day 2:

  • taking a picture with every NFL fanbase, including one Panthers fan who demanded proof of what I said
  • searching for an NFL Draft hat, which proved unsuccessful given the records crowds and the wiped out stores.
  • watching rounds 2 and 3 which a room full of fellow football nuts.
  • pondering the future of the Chicago Bears with Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze

I highly recommend attending the NFL Draft if you have the chance, but I will warn that the crowds were intense! Everything had a long wait including stores, Draft experiences (like the 40-yard dash), and everything was pricey. Still, it was hundreds of thousands of friendly NFL fans who were all eager to talk football. If you love football and love meeting new people, this is an experience for you. To wrap up, I want to share the rest of the media I collected this weekend. Feel free to check out all my videos and pictures from the weekend including a full interview with each player HERE. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!


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