The Chiefs reached a contract agreement with Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones, their first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, a source confirmed to The Star on Thursday.
Jones, who is listed at 6 feet 6 inches tall and 308 pounds, declared for the draft after a 2015 season in which he recorded 44 tackles, 7 1/2 for loss, and 2 1/2 sacks to go along with four pass breakups in his first season as a starter.
Jones is the first of the Chiefs’ draft picks to sign with the club. All are expected to be signed before the three-day rookie minicamp begins Saturday.
The Chiefs drafted Jones with No. 37 overall pick, which they acquired by trading their first-round pick, No. 28, to San Francisco. The Chiefs also received a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick from the 49ers, who also received the Chiefs’ seventh-round pick.
The Chiefs’ defensive line returns its top three starters — Dontari Poe, Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey — but lost Mike DeVito to retirement. Jones also provides insurance in case Poe, who is slated to be a free agent in 2017 barring a franchise tag, opts to leave or if his back flares up again.
The Chiefs also have some other interior linemen they like, including Nicholas Williams, a 6-foot-4, 309-pound rotational player last season who is entering a contract year, and 2015 sixth-round pick Rakeem Nunez-Roches.