Two of the three Vols selected in the 2018 NFL draft have now signed rookie contracts after Kahlil Mckenzie reached a deal with the Chiefs on Monday.
We have signed Draft Selections Armani Watts (DB – Texas A&M) and Kahlil McKenzie (G – Tennessee) . pic.twitter.com/LeU8N3RxRg
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 14, 2018
Mckenzie was taken in the sixth round with the 198th overall pick. He played defensive tackle his entire career at Tennessee, but was drafted by the Chiefs as an offensive lineman. During their rookie mini camp, he played left guard.
A position switch could prove to be beneficial for Mckenzie. During his three years in Knoxville, he could never quite live up to the lofty expectations he came in with. His skill set might be better suited for the offensive line though, and he has a fresh start in the NFL to build a career.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach certainly believes in his ability to play offensive line. “This kid is going to look like a first-round pick,” Veach said. “He’s an impressive-looking player. He’s a draftable talent just as a defensive lineman and he would certainly be on an NFL roster this coming fall if he just played defensive line.”
According to Spotrac.com, McKenzie’s initial four-year NFL deal has a total value of &2,565,949 — including a guaranteed signing bonus of $150,949.
Now that Mckenzie has signed with the Chiefs, John Kelly is the only remaining Vol that hasn’t signed his rookie contract. Kelly, like Mckenzie, was a sixth round selection. The Rams, however, don’t hold a traditional rookie minicamp, which is likely the reason for the delay.