We spent time this offseason tracking the NFL Draft prospects that visited the Kansas City Chiefs or that the Chiefs worked out privately. Perhaps that was a waste of time because neither of the Chiefs day two draft picks - Mississippi State DT Chris Jones and Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell - visited Kansas City before the draft.
While Russell admitted sensing some interest from the Chiefs early on, both players indicated they did not expect the Chiefs to pick them.
"They didn't invite me (to Kansas City)," Jones said to the KC media. "I didn't think there was a chance I would ever go with the Chiefs. They were one of the last teams I had in my mind. Right now I'm very excited, a lot of mixed emotions. Just to finally be on a team, man, just to finally be a part of a brotherhood, man, I'm thankful for that. The process leading up to it, it's nerve-wracking. You don't want to be the last one in that room, stuck not knowing. It's all a blessing man, it's all a blessing."
Russell, who visited Seattle and Detroit, was kind of on my radar because I saw a tweet that he had said that the Chiefs were among the teams interested in him but that was back in March.
"I talked to them at Pro Day," Russell said. "They showed a lot of interest that day. Talked to them at the Combine a little bit, but at Pro Day when I talked to one of the coaches, one of the scouts, they showed a lot of interest, but before that they weren't one of my top five in interests. When they called me, I was shocked. I was really shocked. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I am fortunate and blessed right now."
The Chiefs spent a lot of their draft visits this year on UDFA-types and other players who weren't from big programs (or so it seems on the limited info I have). Mississippi State and Notre Dame are huge schools with lots of big time recruits each year so the Chiefs probably had some contacts at those schools to get the information they needed.
Also in play here is that neither of these picks were the Chiefs original draft picks. They traded away on each of them so perhaps the Chiefs weren't focusing as much in that area before the draft.