The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their 2018 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon with the selections of speedy Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith (sixth round, No. 196 overall), and hulking Tennessee offensive guard Kahlil McKenzie (sixth round, No. 198 overall).
While he played along the defensive line in college, McKenzie will play guard for the Chiefs.
Those two picks give the Chiefs a total of six selections this year:
Second Round (No. 46 overall) - Breeland Speaks – DE/Edge – Ole Miss
Third Round (No. 75 overall) – Derrick Nnadi – DT – Florida State
Third Round (No. 100 overall) – Dorian O'Daniel – LB - Clemson
Fourth Round (No. 124 overall) Armani Watts – S – Texas A&M
Sixth Round (No. 196 overall) – Tremon Smith – CB – Central Arkansas
Sixth Round (No. 198 overall) – Kahlil McKenzie – OG – Tennessee
Interestingly enough, McKenzie is the son of current Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, which could make family dinners a little more fun.
"My dad's happy for me," McKenzie told the local media via a conference call after the pick was made. "The rest of the family, they're happy as well. It's just going to make for a lot more family rivalries. We're a competitive family at nature, so we compete at everything we do. This just adds one more ripple into that.
"I'm excited to get to Kansas City and just help these Chiefs, one, whoop up on the Raiders, and whoop up on the rest of the NFL."
McKenzie, who is listed at 6-feet-3 and 314 pounds, wasn't surprised about the change of positions—adding it's something he spoke about with teams before the draft, including the Chiefs.
"I talked to him a couple days ago," Chiefs' area scout Pat Sperduto explained of talking with McKenzie about playing offensive guard. "That was the first thing we brought up. I said, 'What if we drafted you as an offensive guard?' He said, 'I'd be willing to do anything. I just want to play football. I want to be a good player in the league.'"
Sperduto explained what they saw in McKenzie during his time at Tennessee that had them thinking about the projection to the offensive line.
"We watched a lot of film on him as a nose tackle," Sperduto explained. "We like some of the things he did at nose tackle, he has such a strong base. His hands are always tight inside, his head is always up. All the things and traits that you look at with him, you could see that this kid might have a shot as a good offensive guard. You look in the past, there are guys that have done it. J.R. Sweezy did it a few years ago at N.C. State. How about Alejandro Villanueva, the guy from the Steelers? He was a wide receiver and a tight end and he made the transition.
"You look at the traits, you look at some of the things that he did. You look at his lower body. You will see it when he comes in. Massive, massive lower body. He plays with such a strong base, he might be a pretty good one."
"Growing up, I played every position you could pretty much think of in football," McKenzie added. "I played offensive and defensive line in high school, but then once I got to college, I was strictly a defensive lineman. My dad and uncle both thought it would be cool to see me play offensive line, and they always thought that if I wanted to make that switch, I could.
"When I got to the Pro Day, some teams asks me – Chiefs being one of them – to work out as an offensive lineman. I did those drills, and they felt really good. Just being able to go through them, and, one, just feeling like they came naturally, and knowing how I play the game, knowing a lot of those things could translate into being a very good offensive lineman.
"It made it just a no‐brainer decision for me.
The Chiefs' selection of Smith in the sixth round actually made it five-straight defensive players to be selected by the Chiefs to begin this year's draft.
Smith, who checks in at 5-feet-11 and 192 pounds, has blazing speed—clocking in with a 4.32 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. That would have tied for the fastest time at the NFL Scouting Combine this year.
"You saw the speed," Chiefs' area scout Willie Davis said of Smith. "You couldn't help but notice how often he was around the ball. Whether he was playing his man or coming off his man and seeing the ball come out the quarterback's hands—he's always around the ball."
Smith hauled in an impressive 15 interceptions over his four-year college career.
"I know special teams is going to be very important to me early on because like I said I'm trying to earn that 53-man roster," Smith said. "I'm going out there and doing whatever it takes to help out the team and there's not going to be any ifs, ands or buts about it. I'm going to go out there and compete.
"I love punt returns, I'm good. I put a couple on film. I always loved it, it's fun to get punt returns/kick returns. I'm ready to excel in the special teams point of view until I can work my way into the defensive side."
Smith started 36 games for Central Arkansas over the past three years.
Last year, Smith finished with 41 tackles (27 solo), 16 passes defensed, five interceptions and 2.5 tackles-for-loss, helping him earn Third-Team FCS All-America Honors.
"He's very competitive," Davis added. "You watch him on film and everything he does is full speed. He wants to compete. He wants to be good. I think he's going to come in here and work hard. The kid knows he can play. He knows he can come in and play against the best players in the world. He's a very confident kid.
"He's going to learn from all the veteran guys and he wants to compete."