Chiefs draft defensive tackle Khalen Saunders with third round pick in NFL Draft

Khalen Saunders

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With their third round pick, the Chiefs have selected Khalen Saunders, another addition to their defense.

The defensive tackle out of Western Illinois was the 21st pick in the third round, the 84th overall pick of the NFL Draft on Friday night.

Saunders was named to the first-team all-conference in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2017 with 57 tackles, 12 for loss and 7.5 sacks.  In 2018 he was named AP FCS second-team All-American.

Now, the St. Louis native will be heading back to the Show Me State now to play in Kansas City.

Saunders is the latest of several defensive moves for the Chiefs. With the 63rd overall pick, the Chiefs selected Juan Thornhill on Friday night. The Virginia safety will add depth to the team’s secondary. As a senior, he led Virginia in total tackles with 98 and interceptions with six.

But as most Chiefs fans know, Thornhill and Saunders aren’t the only moves the team made on defense. Just two days before the start of the draft, the team traded away their first round pick for edge rusher Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks.

They’ll join a revamped defense, especially on the line, where the Chiefs have added Emmanuel Ogbah and Chris Jones.

Kansas City released Justin Houston and traded Dee Ford to San Francisco earlier in the offseason.

Earlier in the second round, the Chiefs traded up and selected Mecole Hardman with the 56th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The wide receiver from Georgia will bring a lot of speed to Kansas City’s offense. He ran a 4.33 40 at the NFL combine, the fastest of any wide receiver.

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