The Kansas City Chiefs began Friday night taking defensive tackle Chris Jones with the first of their two second-round picks (#37 overall) that they possessed and then traded the second one (#58 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the eleventh pick of the third round (#74) and the eighth pick of the fourth (#106). After the wheeling and dealing was done, the Chiefs selected Notre Dame cornerback, KeiVarae Russell with that third-round pick and were done for the night.
However, due to their trades over the first two days of the draft, the Chiefs will be one of the busiest teams on Saturday, the final day of the annual NFL event. The Chiefs will have seven picks during rounds 4-6, including back-to-back picks in Round 4 (#105 and #106).
Russell (5-11, 195 lbs) had a bit of a checkered career at Notre Dame as he was one of the top recruits at running back coming out of high school when he began his career with the Irish in 2012. Before his freshman season, he moved to the secondary and made an immediate impact, starting all 13 games and earning All-Freshman honors with 58 tackles and two interceptions.
He started every game again in 2013 (51 tackles and eight pass breakups), finishing strong in the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers with an interception and three more passes broken up. Unfortunately, he and four of his teammates were suspended for academic improprieties that one draft expert says would have cost them one game at most at almost any other university. The prolonged investigative process at Notre Dame cost Russell the entire 2014 football season and the 2014-15 academic year.
Russell took community college courses and held down a job as well as keeping himself in shape with an intensive workout program, which served him well when he returned to the field for the Irish in 2015. Russell started 11 games, making 60 tackles (3.5 for a loss), with two interceptions and four pass breakups.
Some scouts think that Russell has a future at safety in the NFL, but he possesses the versatility to play any position in the secondary that Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton loves. Either way, he provides depth for a unit that saw the departure of cornerback Sean Smith to Oakland and the retirement of safety Husain Abdullah during the offseason.
CHIEFS PICKS FOR THE NFL DRAFT SATURDAY (begins at 11 am Central):
- Round 4, Pick 7 (105) (From 49ers)
- Round 4, Pick 8 (106) (From Buccaneers through Bears)
- Round 4, Pick 28 (126)
- Round 5, Pick 25 (162) (From Seahawks)
- Round 5, Pick 28 (165)
- Round 6, Pick 3 (178) (From 49ers through Cowboys)
- Round 6, Pick 28 (203)