NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WIBW) - Since the Chiefs traded their 2019 first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for defensive end Frank Clark, they started their NFL Draft on Friday night in the second round.
The picks from day two are listed below with a brief description of each player:
Kansas City traded up in the second round to the 56th pick to select Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman. Hardman has a reputation as a speedster who also returns kicks. Over three seasons at UGA, Hardman had 60 catches, 961 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also averaged 25.0 yards per kick return and 15.2 yards per punt return.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid insists this pick had nothing to do with what is currently going on with Tyreek Hill. He added the former Bulldog has more to his game than speed.
"He can play inside, he can play outside," Reid said. "He did both at Georgia. And then he's a phenomenal returner, I mean, arguably the best returner in the draft."
Hardman is looking forward to catching passes from reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
"I think any receiver would be lucky to be on the same field with him and catch passes from him," Hardman said. "I’m grateful to be in that situation and I’m looking forward to getting to work with him and get the chemistry going and help him do big things in the future.”
Seven picks later, Kansas City took Virginia safety Juan Thornhill. Thornhill was a three-year starter for the Cavaliers who was an All-ACC First Team selection last season. He racked up 13 interceptions and 26 passes defended over four seasons at UVA.
But Reid values that Thornhill can play multiple positions.
"Juan, again, gives you a lot of flexibility," Reid said. "So Spags will have a guy that can play safety, can play nickel."
“Honestly, I am not really sure what Coach wants me to do, but whatever Coach asks me to do, I will definitely step in," Thornhill said. If he wants me to be the kicker, I’ll be the kicker. I’m very versatile and I can play multiple positions.
"So, if you see me at cornerback, I will step in and play that. If you see me at safety, I will step in and play safety, so I am willing to play whatever Coach wants me to do.”
The third round saw the Chiefs go back to defense, as they took Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders. He was an Associated Press FCS Second-Team All-American last season. Saunders is also a pretty impressive athlete, as made evident by the backflip at the bottom of this story.
But he's also not concerned about making the jump from FCS football to the NFL.
"I played really good competition," Saunders said. "Just in general, I think any college player jumping to the NFL, it doesn’t matter if you come from the best school in the country or FCS level, you have never played NFL football.
"I think all of us have something to address. I think my biggest thing is along with everyone else’s, just the pace of play and learning to use my technique better than I ever have before.”