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Bears pick Yale tackle Kiran Amegadjie in third round


The Bears on Friday selected Yale offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie with the 75th pick in the third round of the NFL Draft.

The 6-5, 326-pounder started all 24 games he played the past three seasons at Yale, opening 10 contests in 2021 and 2022 before a quad injury that required surgery limited him to four games last season.

Amegadjie was named First-Team All-Ivy League each of the last two years at left tackle, allowing no sacks on 411 pass blocking snaps. In 2021, he was selected Honorable Mention All-Ivy League after starting 10 games at right guard.

"You love the tools that he has," said Bears general manager Ryan Poles. "His pass pro is really good. Love his length, hand usage. And a big man that we believe is going to continue to get bigger and more explosive, so it should really increase the competition on our offensive line and make everyone better."

Amegadjie's role as a rookie has yet to be determined.

"We don't really want to put a ceiling on him," Poles said. "I see the progression as potentially getting himself into a swing tackle setup. He played guard early in his career too. So swing tackle, inside, outside, which is helpful.

"We've struggled with flexibility in the past, so he has that ability and then we'll see where he ascends to. If that means competing to start this year or next year, that's great. But if he ends up being just a really good offensive lineman, you can't have enough."

"As a player he's a special talent," added Bears co-director of player personnel Trey Koziol. "He's got really rare physical traits. I think he's a player that's on the ascent. The season got cut a little bit short this fall, but we're thrilled to have him."

With the 75th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bears select Yale offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie. Take a look at photos of Amegadjie in action.

Koziol lauded Amegadjie for his combination of length, athleticism and size as well as his intelligence and character.

"Just a really, really impressive kid," said Koziol, who spent about 30 minutes speaking with Amegadjie during a visit to Yale last fall. "As good a player he is, he's even more impressive as a human being."

Amegadjie grew up in the Chicago area as an avid Bears fan. He attended Hinsdale Central High school, joining the football team as a sophomore and helping the Red Devils win 25 games in his final three seasons.

Asked about joining his hometown team during a Zoom call with reporters, Amegadjie said: "I can't even put it into words. I really have no words. I grew up a Bears fan watching Devin Hester and playing Madden '08-'09, running around with Devin Hester in kickoff mode. This is everything I've wanted since I was a little kid. I can't even put it into words. It's amazing."

Amegadjie expressed his desire to play for the Bears to coach Matt Eberflus last summer during a chance meeting at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in suburban Kildeer.

"I met coach Eberflus at a golf club that my dad belonged to, and I introduced myself," Amegadjie said. "He didn't know who I was, and I told him one day I would be sitting in his office and the next year they would be looking to draft me. He reminded me of that on the phone today. That's the biggest thing I've been dreaming about for so long and something that I wanted to happen, and it happened. Honestly, I can't even believe it. I don't even know if this is real, if I'm dreaming."

Amegadjie told reporters that his first interaction with the Bears came via another random meeting—this one with northeast area scout Tom Bradway at the Chili's restaurant in Terminal 1 of Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

"It was completely random luck," Amegadjie said. "He was eating at the Chili's and he came and stopped me and introduced himself. I was about to miss my flight. I went to the wrong gate. I had to run back to my other gate. It was a very random meet-up. Obviously, it led to this now. Crazy how the world works."

Amegadjie watched the draft in Hinsdale along with dozens of relatives, friends and former Yale teammates.

"We have a big group, a lot of people that mean a lot to me," he said. "It's been amazing, an amazing night."

Amegadjie excused himself from the celebration at one point to take a 5-10-minute walk to clear his head. And what was he thinking about during his stroll?

"Just the years and years of work that have gotten me to this point," Amegadjie said. "The fact that it's all starting now. The real work is starting now. I get to stay home. I get to do it with the team that I've loved ever since I was six years old. I'm really excited."

Amegadjie's lifelong love of the Bears wasn't the only reason he enjoyed making a top-30 visit to Halas Hall during the pre-draft process.

"[Offensive line] coach [Chris] Morgan and I had an amazing conversation when I came on a visit," Amegadjie said. "We basically put it all on the line what we both want from each other—and that's the absolute best, that's hard work, it's effort; nothing short of excellence. I'm excited for the journey I'm about to take with him and excited to get to work there."

Asked to identify his top traits, Amegadjie said: "I think No. 1 is length, then you have athleticism and power. Those are kind of my superpowers on the field."

Amegadjie describes himself as "a very confident person," but he realizes he still has room to grow as he enters the NFL.

"I'm a great player, but I'm not a finished product and I'll never be ashamed of that," Amegadjie said. "Every day is a work ethic thing. It's about getting better, and my ceiling is extremely high. I believe I have the highest ceiling in this entire draft class of any player. So for me it's what I can do every single day to achieve that. Me and coach Morgan talked about that in our meeting and that's exactly what I plan on attacking from Day 1."

Specifically, Amegadjie wants to "marry my nastiness with my physicality and my toughness and marry that up with technique. Just want to be cleaner, be a cleaner player, get more experience. I want to compete against the best. I want to be the best, so little fixes here and there that will take me there."

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