This past April, Medill Sports graduate journalism students got an all-access pass to one of the biggest sporting events of the year. As credentialed reporters for the 2016 NFL Draft, students found themselves on the floor of the Auditorium Theatre, on the red carpet and throughout Draft Town. With the NFL in full swing, we look back at some of the students’ reactions to covering the signature event.
CHRIS HAYRE (MSJ16)
What surprised you most about covering the NFL Draft?
It is imperative to be prepared for how fast moving the draft is, especially on Day 1.
What were your favorite moments from covering the Draft?
My favorite moment was simply reporting from Auditorium Theatre. I spent months preparing for the Draft and studying the prospects and team needs. When I arrived for Day 1, all of the hard work was done. It was time to have fun and report. Even when the unexpected happened, I felt prepared.
Another highlight for me was my interview with Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche shortly after he was selected No. 29 overall to the Arizona Cardinals. From his pre-draft dinner with Tyrann Mathieu to his relationship with GM Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians, Nkemdiche provided great insight as to why the Cardinals were the right fit for him.
How important was collaboration for you in covering the Draft?
I think everyone quickly learns just how important communication and collaboration is while covering an event as big as the NFL Draft. I have a great rapport with several of the reporters and producers, and I think that set us all up nicely. We each had our own ideas and were able to implement them throughout the weekend.
What was the most important thing you learned from the experience?
The most important thing I learned is that I am prepared and ready for a career in sports media. From the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to the NFL Draft in Chicago, I am extremely grateful that Medill has put me in situations to be successful.
See Chris Hayre’s Draft coverage and more of his NFL reporting: