NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Tulane University defensive back Thakarius Keyes was selected as the 23rd pick in the seventh round (237 overall) by the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs in the 2020 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.
With his selection, Keyes becomes the 144th Tulane player chosen in the NFL Draft in program history.
Keyes becomes the second Tulane player to be selected in this year’s draft. Earlier today, teammate Darnell Mooney was taken by the Chicago Bears with the 28th pick in the fifth round (173rd overall). The Green Wave have now had two players selected in the NFL Draft for the second time in the last three years.
“I am so proud of Thakarius and his development as a player,” Tulane head coach Willie Fritz said. “He truly is a great person and is very deserving of this opportunity. I look forward to watching him play on Sunday’s with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Keyes also becomes the fifth Green Wave defensive back to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2015. Keyes’ selection also marks the third straight year in which Tulane has had a defensive back selected (Parry Nickerson – 2018 and Donnie Lewis Jr. – 2019).
“This is an amazing moment and one that I will never forget,” Keyes said. “I can’t wait to get to work as a professional football player. I would like to thank all my teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point in my career.”
The Laurel, Mississippi, native closed out his collegiate career on a high note, as he earned Honorable Mention recognition from the American Athletic Conference.
In 2019, Keyes started every game for Tulane during the regular season. Keyes held opposing quarterbacks to just a 45 percent completion percentage rate when targeted. He also played a key role in guiding the Green Wave to the AAC's fifth-best passing efficiency defense.
Throughout his career, Keyes appeared in 39 career games.
During the NFL Scouting Combine, Keyes posted a vertical jump of 36 inches at the event.