With the 237th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Tulane cornerback Thakarius Keyes after trading back into the draft.
The Chiefs gave up their 2021 sixth-round pick to Tennessee Titans for Keyes. It’s clear the front office is fond of players coming from Louisiana.
Arrowhead Report’s Jordan Foote broke down the Chiefs’ unexpected pick.
Cheap Thakarius Keyes Jersey joins the Chiefs organization after a four-year career at Tulane. Only two of those seasons were as a full-time starter, though. At 6’1″, 202 pounds, he has great size for an NFL cornerback. His athletic profile is good, but he needs to develop the rest of his game before he’s ready for a full-time contributor role. This is a developmental pick by the Chiefs, who traded back into the draft for Keyes. This move could pay dividends down the road. Great end-of-the-draft pick to cap off what was a very good series of picks by Brett Veach.
Bill Huber of PackersCentral gave the backstory on the Chiefs’ sixth-pick in the draft
Keyes had one interception and nine breakups as a junior and one interception and four breakups as a senior, giving him two picks and 17 total passes defended in four seasons. According to SIS, he allowed a 46 percent completion rate and two touchdowns for a 68.7 rating. He’s a dreadful tackler, with 13 misses and a missed-tackle rate of 22 percent. Despite the tackling issues, he’ll battle in run defense.
At Laurel (Miss.) High School, he was a basketball standout who didn’t start playing football until his junior year. Because he started football so late, he didn’t receive a single scholarship offer. He planned on going to junior college but, instead, decided to bide his time. Finally, Tulane offered. He’s got 32 5/8-inch arms, tied with Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah for third-longest in the class. “It definitely helps set the line when you can play off a little bit, like a yard off, and be able to reach at any moment and deflect the ball, even when you can’t pick the ball,” he said at the Combine. “It helps a lot when I’m going up in the air to catch the ball, even if I jump early, my arms are so long that I can get a PBU even though I can’t get the pick.”