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10 local Kansas City NFL Draft prospects to watch

There’s a handful of draft prospects in this year’s class that began their football journeys in the Kansas City area.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 UAB at North Texas Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As we await NFL Draft weekend starting Thursday, I thought it’d be good to shout out some prospects that grew up in Chiefs Kingdom. There are a few guys I personally have a soft spot for:

Gerrit Prince | Tight End | UAB

High school: Shawnee Mission Northwest (Shawnee, KS)

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-Brigham Young at UAB Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

As a high-school senior playing outside receiver, Prince earned second-team All-Sunflower League honors by catching eight touchdown passes thrown by yours truly. He continued his playing career at Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS, where he stayed at wide receiver; in his second and final year, he caught nine scores and was awarded KJCCC first-team all-conference.

Prince continued playing at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he transitioned to move tight end. After nabbing four touchdowns over five games in 2020, he fully broke out in 2021 with 10 scores on top of 36 receptions and 699 yards; he finished third among FBS tight ends in touchdown catches.

He accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl during this pre-draft process, where he turned heads with impressive repetitions as a pass-catcher.

Prince attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day — but in addition, he had a private workout with the Chiefs, plus another zoom call last week. The Arizona Cardinals hosted Prince on a Top-30 visit earlier this month, but he has been in communication with a handful of teams.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler graded Prince as a sixth-round prospect, ranking him 15th among the tight end class. For more in-depth analysis of his play, I’ll be breaking him down in a preview of mid-round tight ends later this week.

Lucas Krull | Tight End | Pittsburgh

High school: Mill Valley (Shawnee, KS)

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Krull appeared to be on his way to a baseball career in high school, committing to Arkansas University as a sophomore to be a pitcher. From that point forward, Krull begun dominating on the football field as a pass-catcher. During his senior year, he racked up 815 yards and 14 touchdowns on 52 catches as he helped Mill Valley win the 5A State Championship in 2015.

After originally sticking to baseball as a college athlete, he flipped back to football — eventually playing at Florida then Pittsburgh; it’s an incredible story — and to hear it, listen to Jay Binkley and I’s interview with him on 610 Sports Radio last week.

Krull broke out for Pitt in 2021, totaling 451 yards and six touchdowns on 38 receptions. His productive year earned him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl; that and his Pro Day numbers have helped him stand out in the draft community.

Krull attended the Chiefs’ local pro day and visited the team on an official Top-30 visit.

Brugler has Krull graded as a priority free agent, ranking 24th among the tight end class. For more in-depth analysis of his play, I’ll be breaking him down in a preview of mid-round tight ends later this week.

Rachaad White | Running Back | Arizona State

High school: Center (Kansas City, MO)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 11 UNLV at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White blew up as a senior running back at Center after missing out on his junior season due to an injured collarbone. He totaled over 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2017 — 1,325 of them on the ground. He earned first-team All-State for Class 3A in Missouri.

After redshirting one season with the Nebraska-Kearney program, he transferred to Mt. San Antonio College in California — where he once again had a break-out season: 1,400 yards of total offense and 10 touchdowns. It propelled him to be the third-ranked junior-college running back; he eventually committed to Arizona State.

After an impressive four-game season in 2020, White followed it up with 1,456 total yards and 16 touchdowns this past season. He accepted invitations to both the Senior Bowl and the Combine.

Brugler graded White as a fifth-round prospect; he slotted him as the 12th-best running back in the class.

Mario Goodrich | Cornerback | Clemson

High school: Lee’s Summit West (Lee’s Summit, MO)

FSU v Clemson Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Goodrich became one of the biggest recruits in Kansas City high school football by being versatile. He played on both sides of the ball for the Titans — scoring 22 total touchdowns and nabbing 11 interceptions.

As a four-star recruit without a position, he chose Clemson and played on defense. In four years, he totaled 68 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defended and one touchdown. He accepted an invitation to the Combine.

Brugler graded Goodrich as worthy of a sixth-round selection, ranking 27th overall in the cornerback class.

Sam Webb | Cornerback | Missouri Western

High school: Excelsior Springs (Excelsior Springs, MO)

After a high school career where he played both sides of the ball and earned all-state honors as a senior, Webb committed to play at Missouri Western — where he started four years at cornerback. His seven career interceptions and 39 passes defended helped him get noticed as an NFL prospect.

Brugler graded Webb as a priority free agent, ranking 42nd overall in the cornerback class.

Skylar Thompson | Quarterback | Kansas State

High school: Fort Osage (Independence, MO)

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-LSU at Kansas State Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Thompson excelled at Fort Osage enough to win the 2015 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, leading his team to a Class 5 Missouri State Championship in his final year. As a three-star recruit, he went to play at Kansas State — where he started 40 games over five seasons, totaling 8,221 all-purpose yards and 68 total touchdowns.

Thompson accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl during the pre-draft process; he also attended the Combine and the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.

Brugler gave Thompson a priority-free agent grade, slotting him as the 16th-ranked quarterback.

Duron Lowe | Cornerback | Liberty

High schools: Shawnee Mission Northwest and Saint Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, KS)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Louisiana at Liberty Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After starting his career as a big-play running back and returner in his sophomore and junior years at Northwest, Lowe transferred to Aquinas — where he solidified himself as a cornerback prospect. He continued playing at Butler CC, then moved on to play at the University of Texas-El Paso for two seasons before one final year at Liberty.

Over his three FBS seasons, he racked up 74 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 13 passes defended, and one forced fumble. He also added two return touchdowns as a kickoff returner.

Lowe attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.

C.J. Perez | Interior Offensive Line | Temple

High schools: Shawnee Mission Northwest and Saint Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, KS)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 East Carolina at Temple Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Perez began his high school career as a tight end, hauling in my off-target drag routes and pop passes from the freshman team all the way to varsity. As a senior, he played at Aquinas — where he earned first-team All-League and All-State honors. He continued his playing career at Butler CC, transitioning to center and ultimately earning first-team All-KJCCC honors in 2017.

He enrolled to play at Northern Illinois, starting at left guard for one season and center for another. He then transferred to Temple, where he started at center in 2020 and 2021; he earned all-conference honorable mention last season.

Perez attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.

Jahron McPherson | Safety | Kansas State

High school: Basehor-Linwood (Basehor, KS)

Kansas State v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

After injury impacted his junior season, McPherson’s senior year at Basehor-Linwood featured a district championship and first-team All-State honors. From there, McPherson played at Butler CC for one season before transferring to Kansas State and going on to play in 45 games over four years. For his career, he had 155 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions, six passes defended, and one forced fumble.

McPherson attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.

Storey Jackson | Linebacker | Liberty

High school: Olathe North (Olathe, KS)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Liberty at Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jackson was both a football and basketball prospect out of Olathe but excelled as a cornerback enough to continue playing at Hutchinson Community College. He then transferred to Prairie View A&M, where he finished as a finalist for the FCS defensive player of the year award after leading the nation in tackles per game (16.7).

From there, Jackson finished his playing career at Liberty in 2021 — where he totaled 102 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception and three passes defended in 13 games.

Jackson accepted an invitation to the Hula Bowl during the pre-draft process; he attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.

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