NFL Draft

Northwestern’s Anthony Walker Jr. becomes top NFL prospect

By Alexis Wainwright

After a remarkable season with Northwestern University, Anthony Walker Jr. was invited to the 2017 NFL Combine. After seven weeks of intense training, Walker Jr. performed in the 2017 NFL Combine last weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. Walker ran a 4.65 in the 40 yard dash. He also finished tied for fifth with 23 reps on bench press, a broad jump of 116 inches and posted a 30.5 vertical jump.

The 2017 Draft is April 27th-29th at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA. Walker Jr. is projected for the 2nd to 4th round in the draft.

Photo at top: Anthony Walker Jr. prepares for the NFL draft in a training session. (Alexis Wainwright/MEDILL)

On The Clock: Medill’s 2016 NFL Draft Podcast Examines the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In Part II of our post-draft podcast, Jordan, Tolly and Peter give their evaluations for several teams throughout the NFL. Tolly gives high marks to Washington, Jordan bemoans the Texans not selecting a certain receiver, and Peter hands out low marks to the Atlanta Falcons.

Continue reading

Medill 2016 Draftcast

A Medill Sports Production

The Medill 2016 Draftcast is a 30-minute show that takes viewers through the three-day 2016 NFL Draft that was held in downtown Chicago on April 28-30, 2016.

Continue reading

Vikings’ Laquon Treadwell makes new friends, learns to play checkers on draft day

By Hannah Gebresilassie

From visiting patients in the a.m. to getting drafted in the p.m., Laquon Treadwell had an “emotional rollercoaster” on draft day.

Treadwell spent the morning visiting patients at Shriners Hospital for Children – Chicago on April 28. There he made two new friends, 8-year-old Sheila Bourke and 10-year-old Katie Kuehn, who taught him how to play checkers.

Continue reading

NFL Draft 2016: The memories in pictures

By Hannah Gebresilassie and Aishwarya Kumar Lakshminarayanapuram

The 2016 NFL Draft came to an end, but the memories are still fresh. From Ezekiel Elliott’s selfie with Commissioner Roger Goodell to the first European player to be drafted in the NFL straight from the European league, the three-day event had it all. Here are some pictures which will be etched in our memories.

Continue reading

Oakland fans at NFL Draft learn Raiders’ selection: Las Vegas

By Alex Valentine

Oakland Raiders fans in Chicago for the NFL Draft had more to ponder than whether safety Karl Joseph was the right first-round pick.

They learned the team wants to relocate to Las Vegas.

“I don’t want them to move,” Juan Romero, a Raiders fan from Chicago, said Saturday on the final day of the draft. “They have so much history in California, especially in Oakland. Oakland is their culture, and it’s where they belong.”

On Thursday, the same day the draft started, Raiders owner Mark Davis proposed to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee a $1.4 billion stadium, with the Raiders contributing $500 million (including a $200 million loan from the NFL) and Sands Corp. reportedly paying another $150 million.

“I think it’s going to be a great marriage,” Davis told the committee.

Al Davis, Mark’s father and franchise patriarch, famously bolted from the Bay Area for Los Angeles in 1982, only to return the team to Oakland 13 years later.
Continue reading

NFL Draft Day 3: Wildcats find their new homes 📹

A Medill Sports Production

Day 3 of the NFL Draft brought plenty of rain, but also plenty of picks. The final four rounds were held in Selection Square, located in NFL Draft Town in Grant Park. There, crowds braved the elements to hear more names called and see teams welcome their new additions.

Two former Northwestern players were picked up today. Defensive end Dean Lowry heard his name called by the Green Bay Packers in round four, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed fullback Danny Vitale  in round six.

The Chicago Bears picked up five new players today, after General Manager Ryan Pace made some early round trades to amass several strategic picks.

Continue reading

Chicago says goodbye to NFL Draft until (insert best guess here)

By Julia Cardi

Lisa Nelson loves Chicago, and she loves football. So when the NFL Draft came to the city starting in 2015, the La Grange resident and lifelong Green Bay Packers fan was thrilled. Nelson and her family have enjoyed attending Draft Town with her family to meet former and current players, spend time around other football fans, and watch the final rounds these last two years.

She can’t understand why the NFL will probably move the event in 2017, saying Chicago has done so well as host.

“I was hoping this was going to be its home,” she said as she waited to watch her children run the 40-yard dash. “It’s a good, central location, and people are passionate about sports here.” Continue reading

It’s the 2016 NFL Draft, brought to you by Ohio State

By Jordan Ray

Four years ago, Joey Bosa, Darron Lee, Eli Apple and Ezekiel Elliott took a picture together during an Ohio State football game. They were visiting the school as high school seniors on a recruiting trip.

“I was, like, 16 in that picture,” Apple said. “I just remember it was really cold that game. (Ohio State) put up a lot of points. It was, like, 63-20. Very great game. Very entertaining.”

The group led a massive class of 12 Buckeyes chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft that ended Saturday in Chicago.

“That’s what is expected from Ohio State,” Elliott said. “That’s why we all went to the Ohio State University, because we knew we were going to be prepared to play at the next level.”

Ohio State holds the record with 14 selected in the 2004 draft.

Among those chosen in 2016, Ohio State had five picked in the top 20 (Bosa, Elliott, Apple, Lee and Taylor Decker), including three in the top 10 (Bosa, Elliott and Apple).

“Nobody has higher expectations for ourselves than we do,” Bosa said. “Me and Zeke and Darron would always laugh about (being) first-rounders, (saying) ‘Hey, we’re going to be first-rounders one day.’ Here we are.”

Bosa, a defensive end, was the first Buckeye taken. San Diego picked him with the third overall pick.

“Right after I got called, we all shared a good moment,” Bosa said. “Big hug. I was crying like a baby, of course.”

Five more Buckeyes were picked on Day 2 (Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, Adolphus Washington, Braxton Miller and Nick Vannett), breaking the record for the most players (10) taken in the first three rounds.

The record for Rounds 1-3 had been eight, set by Tennessee in 2000. It’s also one more than the entire Big 12 conference had selected during that timespan.

The final two Buckeyes went on Day 3. First, the Chargers took linebacker Joshua Perry fourth in the fourth round — with Bosa announcing the pick for their new team.

“He’s one of the hardest workers I know,” Bosa told Chargers.com. “An amazing leader. A physical freak. He’s a big, huge guy at the linebacker position and helped our defense tremendously over the past three years. He’ll do that here in San Diego. It’s a steal for sure to get him in the fourth round.”

The Bills took quarterback Cardale Jones with the final pick of the fourth round.

That gave Ohio State 12 picks for the first four rounds, also an NFL record for one school. That’s three more then the mark held by the 2004 and 2006 Buckeyes.

Despite winning the national title last year, Alabama had seven.

“I’m happy for those Ohio State guys,” said Alabama’s Reggie Ragland, who went to Buffalo in the second round. “We got real close during this process and (Ezekiel Elliott) told me it’s a hard few days for him. We joke about it right now,
but I’m not mad about it.”

Photo at top: Ezekiel Elliot takes the NFL Draft red carpet Thursday night. Elliot was the second of 12 Ohio State players selected during the three day draft. (Lena Blietz/MEDILL)

To play or not to play? NFL & USA Football advise parents

By EmmaKate Austin and Lena Blietz

ESPN’s Mike Golic, co-host of Mike and Mike, and his wife, Chris Golic, led a panel discussion for parents about the safety of youth football and other sports. The NFL’s Play 60 teamed up with USA Football for the event, where kids participated in an hour of football drills while their parents attended the panel. Panelists included Bears tight end Zach Miller and former offensive tackle James “Big Cat” Williams.

Continue reading