Chiefs

Chiefs select Khalen Saunders, a 324-pound lineman who does backflips, in third round

320-pound lineman lands perfect backflip at Senior Bowl practice

Western Illinois defensive lineman Khalen Saunders nailed a perfect backflip after Senior Bowl practice Tuesday.
Up Next
Western Illinois defensive lineman Khalen Saunders nailed a perfect backflip after Senior Bowl practice Tuesday.

Khalen Saunders of Western Illinois didn’t tumble into a backflip after being selected by the Chiefs in third round of the NFL Draft.

But the 6-foot, 324-pound defensive tackle could have.

A tweet of Saunders doing backflips went viral in January. His highlights package also includes him catching a touchdown pass after lining up in the backfield.

Not bad for a player who lines up in the middle of the defensive front. Saunders believed the image of him going head over heels helped promote him throughout the evaluation process.

“It kind of showed the athleticism,” Saunders said. “My frame is not really supposed to be able to flip like that. I think it showed I was a little unique.”

Saunders was a second-team FCS All-America for Western Illinois. Over the past two years he recorded 14 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, nine quarterback pressures and 129 tackles.

Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said they got the outcome they wanted from Friday’s NFL draft.

He’s from St. Louis and played high school football at Parkway Central in Chesterfield, Mo., where he lined up at fullback and defensive tackle.

The selection of Saunders concluded the Chiefs’ draft day. They enter Saturday with three selections, two in the sixth round and one in the seventh.

Related stories from Belleville News-Democrat

  Comments