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A fateful Chili's meeting and a Hester fan: What to know about Chicago Bears third-round pick Kiran Amegadjie

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Kiran Amegadjie is a Chicago Bear.

The newest third-round pick at Halas Hall introduced himself to the media through a Zoom call Friday evening.

He's a Bears fan through and through. He played with Devin Hester in Madden 2008. He's a strong player.

"I don’t even know if this is real or if I’m dreaming," Amegadjie said.

He also got on the Bears radar thanks to a Chili's.

Here's what to know about the Hinsdale Central alum, Yale product and now Chicago Bears offensive lineman:

Amegadjie got on the Bears' radar… thanks to Chili's?

The story is almost unbelievable.

Amegadjie was at O'Hare International Airport preparing to board a flight when he realized he was at the wrong gate.

As he turned to find the right gate and not miss his flight, he was stopped outside the Terminal 1 Chili's at O'Hare.

A Bears scout who happened to be eating at the Chili's stopped him and talked to him. That's how Amegadjie got on the Bears radar.

It was a crazy happenstance. Although, maybe it was fate?

The Bears visited Amegadjie at Yale after that multiple times. He was officially on their board.

That paid off Friday when the Bears selected him No. 75 overall in the third round.

The Bears like Amegadjie for his versatility

When the Bears brought Amegadjie in for a visit to Halas Hall, it was clear the moment wasn't lost on him.

"It's always fun when you can bring a guy in who grew up being a Bears fan," Bears co-director of player personnel Trey Koziol said. "You could see it on his face when he walked into Halas Hall on his visit. He's really excited to be here."

Amegadjie joins Cole Kmet, Doug Kramer, TJ Edwards and Jack Sanborn as local natives who earned spots on the Chicago Bears.

That local tie makes it mean more for Amegadjie. But the Bears saw something more in him as they did their homework on the Yale offensive lineman.

"As a player, I mean, he's a special talent," Koziol said. "He's got really rare physical traits."

Amegadjie sees himself as a tackle, but has versatility

In college, Amegadjie played both guard and tackle. In 2023, he was a left tackle.

When asked about it, Amegadjie said he would prefer to play tackle. He sees himself as a tackle. But, he won't stay a tackle if the team needs him elsewhere.

"I prefer tackle," Amegadjie said. "But I’ll play anywhere. I’m a football player."

There's a big difference between playing guard and tackle. Not just the alignment, but in how those players play, the opposition they go up against and how they figure into the offense.

The Bears are not concerned. They're putting their trust in offensive line coach Chris Morgan to out Amegadjie in the best position possbile.

"The goal is get your best five on the field," Koziol said. "Whoever those five are. Obviously he does have some experience playing guard in the past. I think he's got the physical traits to do it. Obviously he's a really sharp kid, so I don't really worry about the mental side at all with him."

Amegadjie's strengths are in his strength

Of course, offensive linemen need to be strong. But, Amegadjie said that's where his strengths are.

"No. 1 is length," Amegadjie said. "You got athleticism, power, those are kind of my superpowers I feel on the field."

When asked what he wants to improve on, he said he wants to marry toughness with technique.

Because of that, he believes he has the highest ceiling of any player in the 2024 NFL Draft.

"I think I’m a very confident person," Amegadjie said. "I’m not a finished product. I’ll never be ashamed of that."

Amegadjie told Matt Eberflus he'd be a Bear one day

Friday was a full-circle moment for

During a Zoom interview, he recalled how he met Bears head coach Matt Eberflus last summer at a golf club his father is a part of.

Amegadjie told Eberflus he would be sitting in his office as a Bears draft pick one day.

Bringing the moment full circle, Eberflus reminded Amegadjie of what he said last summer when the Bears called Amegadije to officially draft him.