Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

Draft Diaries: Behind the Scenes of the 2023 NFL Draft
Follow along as documents the 2023 NFL Draft through photos taken by Bears photographers who traveled to Kansas City.
By Gabby Hajduk May 03, 2023
Photographs By Jacob Funk documented the 2023 NFL Draft through photos taken by Bears photographers who traveled to Kansas City, along with several other Bears employees.

Our team landed in Kansas City Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after arriving, we headed to Union Station where the draft would be held the following night. We explored the Draft Experience grounds, walking around seven miles to see every square inch of the area, and saw a glimpse of what would the event would look like prior to 125,000 fans being in attendance.

Scenes from the 2023 NFL Draft, Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

After grabbing some Kansas City barbecue for a pre-draft lunch, we headed back to the Draft Experience at 1 p.m. Thursday. While 24 hours ago, the downtown area was only occupied by security, draft staff and some media members, now the fans were out in full force, ready to wait another six hours for the draft to officially start.


At 5 p.m., just two hours until draft time, we made our way back to Union Station. We walked through the historic tourist attraction which housed various photoshoot spots, interview areas and the exclusive green room - an area where the 17 draft prospects in attendance would wait for the phone call that would change their lives.

After weaving through the Union Station hallways, we finally reached the draft theatre, where hundreds of diehard fans - dressed head to toe in team gear and accessories - occupied the Inner Circle areas.


At 7 p.m. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took the stage and minutes later, the Carolina Panthers were on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick (thanks to a trade in March that landed the Bears four picks and receiver DJ Moore). Bears fans waited over an hour for their turn and at 8:08 p.m., Chicago was on the clock.

About six minutes later, the Bears traded the No. 9 overall pick to the Eagles for the No. 10 overall pick and a 2024 fourth-rounder, forcing fans to hold their breath for one more pick.

After another 10 minutes on the clock, the Bears submitted the No. 10 overall selection. Goodell took the stage holding a card with the Bears' pick written down and announced Chicago's selection of Tennessee offensive lineman Darnell Wright.


The 24 Bears fans positioned right in front of the stage erupted in cheers, celebrating the club's first Day 1 selection since quarterback Justin Fields was picked No. 11 overall in 2021. While Wright was not in attendance at the draft, Goodell made his way over to the Bears Inner Circle to join the celebration and still provide the fans with an exciting experience.


Darnell Wright, Gervon Dexter Sr., Tyrique Stevenson, Zacch Pickens, Roschon Johnson, Tyler Scott, Noah Sewell, Terell Smith, Travis Bell and Kendall Williamson. See photos of all the new Bears rookies selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

back to top

Related Content