Backflipping Parkway Central graduate Saunders taken by Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft

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ST. LOUIS, MO- Khalen Saunders became the first St. Louis area football player to come off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft Friday night, when the Parkway Central graduate now with Western Illinois was taken in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs.  His selection caps a pre-draft process that saw him earn wild praise for his athleticism.

After all, how many 310 lb defensive lineman do you know who can do backflips?

As it turns out, he’s actually been doing it for years.

Saunders showed that ability and more during Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama, where a player who didn’t have scouts attending games in Macomb, Illinois during his playing career also faced a tough choice in what amounted to the biggest job interview of his life: Stay and compete, or witness the birth of his child? He learned his fiance was going into labor during practice week, and the couple agreed he should stay.

Now his pro career will start four hours away from home.



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