The Kansas City Chiefs have made their latest selection in the 2019 NFL Draft with the announcement of Khalen Saunders in the third round.
The Kansas City Chiefs have made the third pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with the selection of Khalen Saunders, a defensive tackle out of Western Illinois, in the third round.
The Chiefs have gone all-in on the defensive front this offseason as part of their overall makeover on that side of the ball. With the addition of Saunders, the Chiefs now boast one of the most formidable, versatile and deepest fronts in the entire National Football League.
Saunders himself is a beast at 6’0, 324 pounds and showed strong at not only Western Illinois, an FCS school, but also held his own at the Senior Bowl, which really sent his stock soaring into the middle rounds of the draft. Clearly the Chiefs liked what they saw since they decided to take Saunders instead of a player at other positions of need who were sitting there on the board.
Saunders enters the NFL with a very rare blend of size, speed, and power, but he also faces some major questions. The Chiefs certainly believe in his ability to develop into something special and he should excel playing next to Chris Jones in the interior and learning from pro coaches. He will need time in the weight room and playbook and the jump to pro competition is going to be something to watch, but Saunders is a nice prospect who at the very least can occupy space as a nose tackle.
The Chiefs now face difficult decisions as they pare down the defensive line to shape the active roster. On the inside where Saunders will play, they already have Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Xavier Williams, Justin Hamilton, and Joey Ivie. That’s a very strong rotation of bodies with an incredibly high ceiling.