Five Things to Know About LB Tautvydas Kieras

Posted Mar 22, 2016

Here is some info on the newest linebacker to join the Chiefs

Mississippi State’s top discus thrower, 6-foot-3, 271-pound Tautvydas Kieras may have an unorthodox road to the NFL, but his strength and power ranks amongst the best of his class.

First thing’s first—he goes by “T.K.”

Here are five more things to know about the newest Chiefs linebacker, T.K. Kieras:

1. A standout athlete

Growing up a track and field athlete in Lithuanian, Kieras wanted to take his talents to an American University, so he attended Monroe College in New York. After winning two consecutive NCJAA national championships and being named the top junior college discus thrower in the country for 2012-13, Kieras’ performance attracted multiple offers from four-year universities. Kieras ultimately chose Mississippi State University. 

Kieras set the Mississippi State school record for discus at the Southern Miss Invitational, where he threw 196-11 to bring home first place in 2015.


2. Field of dreams

While his collegiate days were numbered at MSU, a professor noticed Kieras’ strength, agility and frame were in line to carry over to the football field, so he urged him to give football a shot.

Kieras had never even seen or played an American football game until after arriving at MSU in 2014, but he immediately fell in love with the game.

“With discus, it was something I think I did my best and it was time to move on,” he said,  “but with football, I love challenges, and this was the biggest one I’ve ever had in my life. So, I took it and I embraced it and now it’s going well for me, so far.”

Colleague, Mississippi State quarterback and NFL draft prospect, Dak Prescott, amongst others, also encouraged Kieras to give football a try.

While many athletes train for years, Kieras’ training has begun just two months prior to MSU’s Pro Day,

A video posted by Tautvydas Kieras (@tk_kieras) on

3. Ranking amongst the best

Many scouts saw Kieras’ discus history as good training and preparation for the drills and tests comparable to those of the NFL Scouting Combine.

According to Kieras’ Pro Day, here is how he would have stacked up against other participating defensive linemen at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine:

40-Yard Dash: Second place (4.69), trailing only Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper

Bench Press: Third overall amongst linebackers (24 reps)

Broad Jump: Tied for 13th (116 inches), along with Florida’s Jonathan Bullard

Vertical Jump: Tied for fourth place (35 inches), along with Noah Spence, Robert Nkemdiche and Shilique Calhoun


4. The first of many

After signing with the Chiefs, Kieras became the first Lithuanian to sign to an NFL team. There has been record of other players of Lithuanian descent, however, Kieras would be the first player as a Lithuania native.

5. Taking a shot at the NFL

After completing his final season of NCAA eligibility in 2015, Kieras’ only chance of building a discus career beyond college was to compete in the Olympic Games.

Deciding to take a chance on football, Kieras turned down a job in insurance in Las Vegas for his shot at the NFL.

As far as his opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs, he said, “Everything has fallen into place. It’s so perfect. There are no words.”




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