With their first draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select….
The rest of that sentence can change a player and his family’s life.
Find out where some of the current Chiefs’ players were when they found out they made it to the National Football League.
“I remember talking to my agent leading up to that day and saying, ‘Look, I’m going to throw a party either way,’” punter Dustin Colquitt recalled, despite not knowing which day he would be picked.
A bunch of friends and family joined Colquitt at his house in Tennessee for a big gathering to watch the first day.
Colquitt’s agent told him at the party he thought he would be selected the second day and Colquitt agreed after saying he hadn’t heard from anybody.
“It’s funny a few minutes past that, my phone—my flip phone mind you, at least it wasn’t a pager— my flip phone starts vibrating and I’m like 8-1-6? I don’t even know where that is. Where is this?” Colquitt said.
He answers the phone slightly annoyed because, hello, the draft is going on.
“I hear, ‘Is this Dustin?’ And I’m like that sounds like a really famous voice and it ended up being Dick Vermeil,” Colquitt said.
Vermeil followed up by asking him if he was watching the TV.
“Of course I am, but I’m not supposed to be going till tomorrow. I’m just having a party here with a bunch of my friends and family,” Colquitt responded.
“Well you’re actually going to go today,” Vermeil informed him. “You have a pick coming up here, it’s the 99th overall, and I just want to know if you’re excited to be a Chief.”
“And I lost it,” Colquitt said.
Down in South Georgia on Sapelo Island with his family, defensive lineman Allen Bailey was just trying to make sure he had cell phone service.
“I live in the country, so you have to make sure you have some kind of cell service,” Bailey explained.
He had a small gathering with his family while they waited around—trying not to be antsy.
There was lots of food with a side of small talk and bubbling excitement.
“I actually was walking down the road when I got the phone call. It came from an unavailable number, so I almost didn’t answer,” Bailey laughed. “There was lots of excitement. It was unexpected. I didn’t know who was going to draft me.”
Tight end Travis Kelce could be found up in Pittsburgh, PA dancing his way through the draft.
“It’s the dark side if you’re from Cleveland, Ohio, but that’s where my agents were and they threw a party for me, my family and friends,” Kelce explained. “I just remember being around everyone and everyone being very supportive.”
Despite having hopes of being selected higher, Kelce said it was an unbelievable experience.
“I wouldn’t change it and where I ended up is definitely where I want to be,” Kelce admitted.
Five years later and it’s still his family’s reaction to hearing his name called that stuck with him the most.
“Once they said my name on the podium and I saw how happy my parents were and my family around me, that’s what really meant the most to me— to see that they were proud of their son.
“I’ve done some silly things to where they haven’t been so proud in the past,” Kelce shared. “So to see how excited and how happy they were in seeing me accomplish one of my dreams of being drafted into the NFL that was a feeling I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz was selected and up the street at his favorite Mexican restaurant before the one family they invited over had even arrived to his house.
To back track, Schwartz had set his expectations very low.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be a first-rounder, so I just watched as a fan Thursday night,” Schwartz said.
So, Schwartz with just his family started watching that Friday night and around the fifth pick of the second round, the phone rang.
“About pick 34-35 I see my phone light up and it’s got a Cleveland area code,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t actually think they were going to do it. I just thought somebody was calling.”
But it really was the Cleveland Browns and they really did select him early in the second round.
The Schwartz family decided to celebrate with dinner at a Mexican restaurant up the street.
“The people that were coming over weren’t even there yet, because I wasn’t supposed to go that high, so we had to wait for them to even go to dinner,” Schwartz laughed. “It was the easiest draft process ever for me in terms of the actual weekend of the draft.”
His experience left him with only one suggestion:
“They should have more people telling people they’re going to go low and pump them with poor expectations so they exceed them on draft day.”
Down in Alabama, linebacker Dee Ford was sticking to a schedule.
“We had an actual schedule,” Ford laughed. “Like a complete schedule of what we were doing up until draft time.”
Ford was invited to New York for the draft, but decided to stay home.
“I had a draft party with my family and we even had a live band,” Ford said. “I had a tremendous time.”
The party was a way for him to distract himself from the unknown.
“I remember though I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to feel,” Ford said. “I just tried to forget about it and enjoy myself, but my agents were freaking out.”
When the Chiefs came calling in the first round, Ford was excited.
“I had always studied Justin [Houston] and Tamba [Hali], so I was looking forward to being in Kansas City,” Ford said.
But before that excitement settled in, Ford took a moment to reflect.
“I looked around and saw my family, just thought about the process,” Ford said. “I was where I was raised and just reminisced and thought about everything that led up to that moment.
“I looked at my parents and I looked at my siblings and it’s like yeah, this really just happened.”
In the Windy City, defensive lineman Chris Jones was attending the draft.
“I was with my family, my best friend, I brought my high school defensive line/defensive coordinator coach Melvin Cox and my agents,” Jones said. “It was epic.”
The first day didn’t go as planned when he ended up waiting the whole day in the green room.
“In that moment, it was very heartbreaking because as a young child all I wanted to do was walk across the stage, mainly first round, I always had those dreams and aspirations for me, my family and the legacy I wanted to create,” Jones shared.
When his name was called though, all that disappoint left.
“First thing I did was stood up and hugged my dad,” Jones said. “I told him, ‘I told you this was going to happen,’ and I hugged my mom, my agents and I thanked God and walk up on the stage.”
In a true Chris Jones fashion, his personality took over the room.
“Everyone was hollering and the emotions that everyone gave me came back out because I started dancing on stage,” Jones said. “It was a very, very exciting experience.”
Also in Chicago was future teammate, Reggie Ragland.
“I was nervous because it didn’t seem like my name was going to get called,” the linebacker said.
With two phones at the time, Ragland was scrolling through Instagram on one when he saw the second light up.
“It was a 7-1-6 number and I got excited, picked it up and it was the former GM of the Buffalo Bills Doug Whaley,” Ragland said. “He asked me if I was ready to be in Buffalo and I said heck yeah.”
And the emotions from his family were immediately released. Ragland’s dad let out of few tears, his mom fully embraced the tears and his brothers were just trying to add to the excitement.
“I was just happy to get that phone call and still be able to walk across the stage because not everyone gets that opportunity to walk across that stage or even get invited to the draft, so I was very blessed and thankful to do that,” Ragland said.
Once Jones got drafted in the second round, it set things in motion.
“His [Jones] family, my family and two of my teammates were still there and we were joking around, ‘Hey, we might finally get drafted today,’” Ragland said.
Down in Texas, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was in his hometown with all his friends and family at a watch party.
“It was an awesome, awesome experience and feeling,” Mahomes said. “You have an idea of where you think you’re going to get drafted when you go through the process, but you never know.”
But the Chiefs did all they could to make sure his phone would ring early Thursday night from an 816 number.
“For me to get drafted in the top ten and then by the Chiefs where I wanted to go to was an amazing feeling,” Mahomes said.
“You do all these things since you were a little kid—you train, work out and play football and you dream of playing in the NFL— and for you to get that call on draft night and get picked, it’s a surreal feeling that you’ve made it and now you have to go in there and keep working and keep going.”