Kansas City Chiefs Reportedly Showing Interest In Drafting Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara

Julian Okwara plays in a game for Notre Dame
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly have some interest in a defensive lineman out of Notre Dame. In preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft, the team talked to a number of players at the combine a few weeks back and one of those players stood out from the pack a bit. Julian Okwara is considered a standout pass rusher at the college level who saw his senior season end prematurely thanks to injury.

Chiefswire reports the shortened season appears to have put a bit of a chip on Okwara’s shoulder when it comes to the predraft process. Okwara reportedly became concerned that teams were forgetting about him but the Chiefs clearly remembered what he was able to do on the field when he was healthy.

The Notre Dame prospect could have a unique connection to Kansas City’s defensive coordinator should the team select him. His brother, Romeo played for Steve Spagnuolo when both were on the New York Giants.

While Spagnuolo obviously departed to take over the defense for the Chiefs, Romeo, is playing with the Detroit Lions these days. It’s possible the connection still helped the younger Okwara feel more comfortable when he interviewed with the team. He told Chiefswire he had a very good conversation with the man who might someday be his coach.

“I had a very good meeting with him. All of those meetings are tough. There’s definitely a lot of pressure in there. But I think that I’m prepared for it.”

The comment about the interview with the Chiefs being tough isn’t a one-off. Several prospects have come out of their meetings talking about how businesslike Kansas City is in those sessions.

Julian Okwara during a game for Notre Dame
  Tom Pennington / Getty Images

One running back, Utah’s Zack Moss, said he felt like he was in a “hostile environment.” Okwara added he feels like he got through the interview in good shape because he holds himself to a high standard and because he’s ready to play in the NFL.

Expected to have a big 2019, the youngster broke his left fibula in a game against Duke. Before that, he had amassed 19 tackles and five sacks in nine games. That was a follow up to his first season where he played in all 13 games in 2018. That year – his junior season – he dominated the line of scrimmage, making 39 tackles and getting eight sacks. He also had an interception and a forced fumble.

The Kansas City Chiefs could be in the market for a good young defensive lineman in the upcoming draft. As previously reported by The Inquisitr Sack master Chris Jones is expected to get a franchise tag from the team but whether they will then keep him, or trade him appears to still be up in the air.