Tamba Hali to K.C. in Round 1

As expected, defensive end Tamba Hali was the first Penn State player taken in the 2006 NFL Draft, going with the 20th overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hali was a consensus All-American as a senior, tallying 65 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on the way to being named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. Early draft projections had him going as high as the fringe of the top 10 based on his showing as a senior.

But questions about his size (6-foot-3, 263 pounds) and relative lack of experience at the position (he played tackle early in his career) knocked him down the board a bit.

None of that mattered to Kansas City.

“The guy is just scratching the surface,” new Chiefs coach Herm Edwards told ESPN. “He's just learning how to play. He plays with passion and heart. … That's the kind of player you want on your defense.”

In Kansas City, Hali will join former teammate Larry Johnson Jr., a tailback. In fact, Johnson's father, Larry Sr., was Hali's position coach at Penn State.

"I know Larry Johnson," Hali said in an interview with the Chiefs shortly after being picked. "I'm at his father's house right now. I know him very well. He's a real good guy. When I was here I was so anxious to hit him because he was such a good back. To join him on the team now is a privilege."

See the entire Q&A here.

Hali was the lone Penn State player taken on the first day of the draft through the first three rounds.

Track the Draft on Scout.com


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