From Fan to 2024 NFL Draft Pick: Kiran Amegadjie's Path to the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears, Kiran Amegadjie
Chicago Bears, Kiran Amegadjie / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The second day of the NFL Draft is officially over, and while the Chicago Bears only had one selection on Friday night, they picked up a high-ceiling player in Kiran Amegadjie. A versatile offensive lineman out of Yale, there is a lot to like in the experienced player, but his life off the field makes this a home run pick for the Bears' brass.

Chicago Bears Pick Kira Amegadjie Dominates in High School and Ivy League

A native of Hinsdale, Illinois, Amegadjie grew up a die-hard Bears fan, living just 40 miles from the team's facility in Lake Forest. His parents, Boris and Gislaine, hail originally from the African nations of Togo and Cameroon, respectively, and his father even enjoyed a collegiate soccer career in France. Despite his dad's time on the pitch, Amegadjie saw himself as an American football player, and grew up dreaming of playing for his hometown NFL team.

Even with his love for football - and the Bears - Amegadjie specialized as a basketball player throughout middle school. In eighth grade, he finally found his way to the gridiron, but a sour experience with a coach nearly deterred him from pursuing the sport in high school. In his freshman year at Hinsdale High School, Amegadjie opted not to play football, focusing full-time on basketball. As a sophomore, he returned to the sport, thanks in large part to the support from his friends and classmates.

Amegadjie was a member of the varsity football for three seasons, helping the team post 25 total wins over that period. In his junior and senior seasons, Amegadjie led the Red Hawks to consecutive postseason appearances, although the team was never able to string together a playoff run.

Still, Amegadjie built a reputation for himself, and at 6'5" and 280 lbs, he became a top-300-ranked offensive lineman in his recruiting class. With a lot of raw physical talent to work with, Amegadjie received 22 offers, with just one coming from the FBS level. Eventually, Amegadjie committed to Yale University, where he would be challenged both athletically and academically, but he was more than ready to dominate on and off the field.

Unfortunately, Amegadjie's first season in the Ivy League was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he used the time to add to his impressive frame and learn the offense's playbook. When play resumed in 2021, he quickly became a full-time starter at the right guard position and even earned honorable All-Ivy League honors as a sophomore.

Amegadjie's following seasons were even more impressive as he was kicked out to the team's left tackle position in 2022, where he started in all 10 games and was named a First-Team All-Ivy League player. In 2023, Amegadjie was unfortunately held to just four starts due to a quad injury, but he was still named to the League's First Team.