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What We Learned From Saturday's Media Availability

Armani Watts, Tremon Smith and Kahlil McKenzie spoke to the media on Saturday


Q:Where were you when you got the call?

WATTS:"I was back home at mom's house in Dallas."

Q:What was your reaction?

WATTS:"I was just feeling excitement. I'm finally glad I'm off the board. The whole family is excited. It's overwhelming, really. I'm just ready to get to work."

Q:Was there a point during the draft process where you felt like the Chiefs were going to be one of the teams that would be a possible landing spot for you?

WATTS:"I was thinking it was a possibility and it finally happened so I'm glad it happened."

Q:What are your first thoughts about being in a defensive backfield with Eric Berry?

WATTS:"It's real. He's one of the best safeties to play the game. He's got a lot of knowledge and he's been in this game a while. It's going to be real humbling to get under his wing and learn from his experience and be the best I can for the organization."

Q:How would you describe your game to people who haven't seen you play? What are your biggest strengths?

WATTS:"I would say game changer, ball hawk, able to play anywhere, versatile player, real knowledge of the game and know where to be at times and able to play anywhere the team needs me."

Q:The coaches mentioned your instincts. What has made you successful even though you're not necessarily the fastest guy on the field?

WATTS:"I'd say my preparation for the game, studying film during practice and just working on the little details and the craft of it each and every play and just doing my job each and every play."

Q:You put on some weight for the Pro Day and the Combine, what was the reason behind that?

WATTS:"I was just gaining some weight to see if I moved better at that weight. I was just testing the waters really but I'm already back down to weight. I went back down right after to my normal weight."

Q:What did you gain and how much did you lose?

WATTS:"I only gained about 8-10 pounds and then I went back down to 204."

Q:Did you play much corner in college?

WATTS:"No, sir."

Q:Do you feel like you could learn and play corner because of the Chiefs defensive need at the defensive back position?* *

WATTS:"Wherever Coach needs me. I can go anywhere."

Q:Where's your room to grow?

WATTS:"Most definitely tackling angles and wrapping up with tackling, that's a big thing. Controlling coverage is another big thing for me and bettering my game in each and every aspect I can."


Q: Hey congratulations.

SMITH: "Thank you, thank you so much. I can't wait to get up there."

Q: What's going through your mind right now?

SMITH: "Just excited, it's all surreal right now. This is what I've been dreaming about since I was a baby like since I've been playing out there by myself in the yard, throwing the football to myself. This is a moment I've always dream of. Really don't know how to think or how to feel. Just ready to get up there this upcoming Friday and go to work."

Q: Was there a particular point during the draft process where you felt like the Chiefs were really interested in you?

SMITH: "Yeah I did but I went on seven visits and they were all kind of the same. But when I got to the Chiefs it was just a different vibe. I sat down and talked football with the coach out here, went in there with the defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, went up there and talked to him. It always felt pretty good when I was up there in Kansas City. I love the area. Just the coaches and everything, it was just the clicking."

Q: Can you give us a scouting report of yourself, what are your strengths as a player?

SMITH: "My strengths would have to be my ball skills, getting the ball back to the offense. Return abilities, from me playing offense in high school and just always having the ball in my hands. That's what I look forward to, being able to intercept. I came from the offensive side."

Q: How much do you value your ability in the open field as far as being a return guy and how much do you think special teams is going to be a factor for you early on here?

SMITH: "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. I'm going out there and doing whatever it takes to help out the team and there's not going to be any if, an's or but's 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."

Q: How excited are you to be in the same position group with a guy like Eric Berry?

SMITH: "That was my guy growing up. That's who I looked up to even when he was in Tennessee at college, I wore number 14. On the visit, it just so happened that I was walking out the locker room and he was walking in and I got to meet him and introduce myself and tell him how big of a fan I was. I mean I've been watching him all my life, I know he does the little things right. So me learning from that guy is going to help me be the best player that I can possibly be for sure."

Q: How much do you know how the Chiefs use their corners and how do you think your skill set can fit that scheme?

SMITH: "The defensive coordinator and Coach Harris was telling me, straight up, that I was already running the technique to a tee. Press-man, we do a lot of press-man. That's what I did in college. They were just telling me basically how I fit right in to the system. Like if I were to come here, like they ended up drafting me, I already would be a step ahead because I'm already used to the technique and I love that the defense of our college could get me prepared for this next step."

Q: Is press-man your favorite style to play?

SMITH: "Yes sir. That's what I did 90 percent of the time."


Q:What did your dad have to say about this one?

MCKENZIE: "My dad's happy for me. 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."

Q: Did you play on the offensive line at all growing up?

MCKENZIE: "Growing up, I played every position you could pretty much think of in football. 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. This would be a really good step moving forward."

Q: So this is not a surprise for you?

MCKENZIE:"There were some teams that I knew I would be looked at at guard, and then there were some teams that would look at me as a defensive tackle. So, it wasn't necessarily a surprise, but it was more a surprise because you don't know where you're going to end up."

Q: Which side to you prefer to play?

MCKENZIE:"I prefer to play football. Now being an offensive lineman, that's what I prefer to play. They're going to get the absolute best out of me playing the offensive line position, whichever position it is on the offensive line – guard, center – I'll do my very best at it. I think I can come in and dominate that position."* *

Q:What positions did you play on the offensive line growing up?

MCKENZIE:"I played guard in high school and sometimes tackle just because, but I was never really a center per say. I did snap sometimes just because. I've been working on that ever since Pro Day, but I did play guard and tackle."

Q: How much of your training since your Pro Day was geared to offensive line rather than defensive line?

MCKENZIE:"I've really just been catering my training to both sides because, like I said, you never know what's going to happen in this draft process. I was just making sure I worked on both sides of the ball, making sure I was ready to go for whatever position the team needed me to play."

Q: What did your dad say after you told him teams were talking to you about playing guard?

MCKENZIE:"He had a sly little smile on his face. I told him, 'It's your conspiracy. You did this.' Because he always wanted me to play offensive line. He was happy to see me play offensive line and said I moved really well doing it. He said that I just looked like an offensive lineman doing those drills, and I looked like one that could move really well and play the position a lot different. Somebody that knows what defensive linemen are going to do and somebody who can move a lot better than a lot of offensive lineman."

Q: How do you describe your own body type?

MCKENZIE:"I describe my body type as somebody who is one, physically just a powerful person. My big, tree trunk legs – that's what my dad always says. Somebody who can move off the ball and just move around and just move with a lot of quickness. That's how I describe myself physically."

Q: Have you talked to your dad since you got the call?

MCKENZIE:"Yes, sir."

Q: Any Chiefs-Raiders conversations?

MCKENZIE:"Oh, no. Just him being excited for me, and of course me saying I can't wait to whoop up on you twice this year and the next year, and the next year and the year after that."

Q: Growing up in an NFL family, what did you learn from your dad and about this business?

MCKENZIE:"You just kind of know what goes on in this business. You know what to expect going in, what guys expect out of you. You know what drives decisions that are kind of made behind the scenes. You really know what really matters and kind of the fluff. I know what I need to be able to do and what I need to kind of ignore. I know I don't need to worry about this or worry about that. I just need to come in and work hard, keep my head down, do what the coaches ask me and go out there and help this team win games because at the end of the day, this is what it's all about."

Q: Can you give an example of something you don't need to pay attention to?

MCKENZIE:"For one, just things like draft position, things like outside noise, things like that. If it's not coming from inside the locker room, if it's not coming from your coaches, it's not something you need to pay attention to. You need to focus on what you need to do to become a better football player that way you can help your team and get this fan base championships."

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