Bears draft Hinsdale Central grad Kiran Amegadjie with No. 75 overall pick

Hinsdale Central’s Mark Skokna (3) is hoisted up by Kiran Amegadjie (77) after scoring a touchdown against Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn.

LAKE FOREST – Hinsdale Central alumnus Kiran Amegadjie is staying home. The Bears selected Amegadjie, an offensive tackle from Yale, with a third-round draft pick (No. 75 overall) on Friday night.

Amegadjie was watching the draft in Hinsdale with friends, family and many of his Yale teammates when Bears general manager Ryan Poles called him up from Lake Forest. For Amegadjie, it was all too fitting. He grew up rooting for the Bears as a kid.

“I don’t even know if this is real or if I’m dreaming,” he said.

Amegadjie couldn’t help but laugh when asked about his first interaction with the Bears throughout the pre-draft process. Amegadjie was lost looking for his gate in Terminal 1 at O’Hare airport when he heard Bears scout Tom Bradway calling his name from the O’Hare Chili’s.

“He was eating at the Chili’s and he came and stopped me and introduced himself,” Amegadjie said. “So it was literally a complete chance.”

He also recalled a time last summer when he got word that Bears head coach Matt Eberflus was golfing at the golf course where his dad worked. Amegadjie tracked down the head coach at the course.

“He didn’t know who I was,” Amegadjie recalled. “I told him one day I would be sitting in his office and the next year they would be looking to draft me.”

That day was Friday.

The 22-year-old became the third Central alumnus selected in the NFL draft since 2018. All three were offensive linemen. Brian Allen, who graduated from Central in 2014, was selected by the Rams in the fourth round in 2018, while 2016 alum Doug Kramer was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round in 2022. Kramer is still with the Bears.

Amegadjie started playing football in eighth grade. He graduated from Central in 2020 and headed to Yale, where his first season at the Ivy League school was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amegadjie studied the game during his down time.

His 6-foot-5, 326-pound frame also helped. Amegadjie used his size to become one of the top left tackles in the Ivy League, earning all-conference honors in 2022 after starting all 10 games. He played in only four games last season because of a season-ending quadriceps injury.

In high school, Amegadjie helped the Red Devils reach the playoffs both years that he played varsity ball. Central reached the Class 8A second round in 2018 and lost in the first round in 2019.

The Bears’ pick came 24 hours after the team drafted USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick and Washington receiver Rome Odunze with the No. 9 pick. Poles focused on adding weapons to his offense on night one. On day two, he stayed on the offensive side of the football, but the focus turned toward protecting his rookie quarterback.

Amegadjie will join an offensive line that has grown more and more competitive in recent seasons. The Bears drafted left tackle Braxton Jones with a fifth-round pick in 2022 and right tackle Darnell Wright with a first-round pick last year.

Bears co-director of player personnel Trey Koziol said he believes Amegadjie has “starter potential,” but noted that the Bears are hoping to add competition at those tackle spots.

“He’s got really rare physical traits,” Koziol said Friday. “I think he’s a player that’s on the ascent. Obviously, the [2023] season got cut a little bit short this fall, but we’re thrilled to have him. His combination of length and athleticism and size, and obviously he’s a sharp kid coming out of the Ivy League.”

Koziol said the Bears have no injury concerns with Amegadjie moving forward.

The Bears entered Friday night’s second day of the draft holding only one selection, the 75th overall pick. They also have only one pick on Saturday, a fourth-round pick (No. 122 overall).