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)
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.
UAB TE Gerrit Prince with a nice route and catch up the middle. He’s had several catches between the hashes on the day.
— Kyle Crabbs (@GrindingTheTape) January 29, 2022
His smooth release, vertical separation and finishing ability will make him a plug and play pass catching TE in the NFL. won vs. LBs and SAFs all week. pic.twitter.com/EK3ykLPlWK
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) February 22, 2022
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)
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 began 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.
Update from @Pitt_FB Pro Day for Lucas Krull:
Wingspan: 80 in.
VJ: 35 in.
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) March 21, 2022
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 | ArizonaState
High school: Center (Kansas City, MO)
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)
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 assists defended and one touchdown. He accepted an invitation to the Combine.
Best player in the NFL Draft: Sauce Gardner
Worst Player in the top 100? Trevor Penning
Hidden Gem of draft? Mario Goodrich from Clemson
—JudgeReid (@JudgeReid92) April 25, 2022
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)
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)
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 assists defended, and one forced fumble. He also added two return touchdowns as a kickoff returner.
Lowe attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.
CJ Perez | Interior Offensive Line | Temple
High schools: Shawnee Mission Northwest and Saint Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, KS)
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.
Alright there, CJ Perez! Letting big Logan Hall know he’ll be in for a day!
Perez – 2yr starter at center for Temple, before that was starting center for Northern Illinois in 2019, and starting LG in 2018. pic.twitter.com/TK6fdoL7Tq
—Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 23, 2021
Jahron McPherson | Security | kansas state
High school: Basehor-Linwood (Basehor, KS)
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 assists defended, and one forced fumble.
McPherson attended the Chiefs’ local Pro Day.
Congratulations to former Basehor-Linwood Bobcat Jahron McPherson who was named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week for his 11 tackle 1 forced fumble and game sealing INT in K-State’s win at Oklahoma yesterday! pic.twitter.com/QXwHwUtmXO
— Basehor-Linwood Football (@BobcatFB) September 27, 2020
A big part of the draft is finding hidden talent in the later rounds.
—Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 24, 2022
Storey Jackson | Linebacker | Liberty
High school: Olathe North (Olathe, KS)
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.