McKenzie — a former defensive lineman drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft — spent the entire 2018 season on the 53-man roster but was never activated for a game.
The son of former Oakland Raiders general manager and current Miami Dolphins player personnel executive Reggie McKenzie, Kahlil played in 26 games at Tennessee as a defensive tackle, collecting 71 tackles (31 solo), three sacks, a pass defensed and a forced fumble over three seasons.
The Chiefs believed they could convert the 6-foot-3, 325-pound McKenzie into an offensive guard, so they traded up to select him with the 198th overall selection in 2018.
Well, this is awkward...— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) April 28, 2018
“We were at his Pro Day and we worked him out as a guard,” Chiefs area scout Pat Sperduto said after the draft. “We took a look and he did some really nice things. They had three other offensive linemen working out and he looked better than the other three of them that were there. It was pretty impressive. It stood out and when we brought it up, we tinkered with it back and forth and sure enough, Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid and the staff, they decided it was a good fit — let’s try it, let’s go for it.”
Veach said Kahlil would be unmistakable on the field.
“When you see this guy off the hoof, I don’t know if you guys have had the chance to, you will notice him the first day you get a chance to come out to the rookie minicamp,” he said. “You will not have to ask which one is Kahlil.”
But McKenzie never worked out as an offensive lineman. The Chiefs clearly thought he had the talent to succeed — the only reason to keep a player on the roster who is never active in a game is because you believe that if he’s on your practice squad, another team would poach him — but that talent never translated to an ability to play the position.
So now McKenzie will have to see if he can catch on with another team — either as a developing offensive guard or perhaps as a defensive tackle.