KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After trading out of the first round Thursday night, the Chiefs entered the fray on Day Two of the NFL Draft and went defense with the selection (37th overall) of defensive lineman Chris Jones out of Mississippi State.
“Right now I’m very excited, a lot of mixed emotions, man,” Jones said Friday in a conference call with the Chiefs media. “Just finally to be on a team, just to finally be a part of a brotherhood, I’m thankful for that because the process leading up to that is nerve wreaking.”
The 6-6, 308-pound Jones appeared in 39 games with 16 starts on his college career, totaling 102 tackles and 8 ½ sacks in three years, and was named the SEC co-Freshman of the Year in 2013.
Jones, a native of Houston, Miss., started 13 games at defensive tackle in 2015 and offers versatility to play inside or outside.
“I actually played all positions,” Jones said in a conference call. “So, I played defensive end, I played linebacker, I played 3-tech and I played the nose, too.”
Jones said he didn’t have a predraft visit with the Chiefs, adding he was surprised the Chiefs drafted him.
“I didn’t think there was a good chance I’d go with the Chiefs,” he said.
Where Jones, who said he looks up to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, projects in Kansas City remains unclear. But his versatility to play various position helps soften the blow of Mike DeVito’s recent retirement.
Jones could also provide insurance to Dontari Poe, who is set to play the 2016 season on a fifth-year option and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
“I don’t specifically have a role right now,” Jones said. “I’m just ready to get up there and work.”
With the drafting of Jones, the Chiefs now have 10 defensive linemen. He joins Poe, Jaye Howard, Allen Bailey, Nick Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, David King, Jimmy Staten, Alameda Ta’amu and Dominique Davis.
The Chiefs have another selection (59th overall) in the second round.