The Kansas City Chiefs have finished their 2021 draft. A motherload of exciting prospects has been drafted by Veach and the front office. They improved their defense drastically, they improved their receiving core, and they buffed the offensive line up like no tomorrow by adding two absolute units. With that said, it’s time to glance through a fan’s perspective, and grade these exciting picks:
Round Two, Pick 58: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Chiefs selected a pure tackler with this pick. With the 58th pick, the Kansas City Chiefs selected the 6’0″, 232-pound linebacker from Missouri, Nick Bolton. In his senior season (ten games), he racked up 95 total tackles, eight tackles for a loss, five pass deflections, two sacks, and a fumble recovery.
Bolton has the ability to stay with any assignment he’s given, along with being able to quickly read offenses with simplicity. He also has shown to be able to menace all across the field, no matter how far the ball carrier is. Bolton has even shown to be decent in coverage, but that can always improve.
As stated before, he is one of the best pure tacklers in this draft. He can take the right angle a vast majority of the time, always being able to tackle the ball carrier at the right moment. He also isn’t that much of a hit-sticker; while he does do it when he can, he mainly wraps people up, which is something the Chiefs’ defense lacked last season. They always tried to be too flashy.
He has been compared to Anthony Hitchens, which isn’t a bad comparison. This Chiefs’ linebacking core was in need in some improvement as it was THE worst core in that Chiefs’ defense. This was an amazing pick by Veach and the Chiefs’ front office.
Draft Grade: A–
Round Two, Pick 63: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Who would’ve thought the Chiefs would land someone like this late in the second round. With the 63rd pick, the Chiefs selected Creed Humphrey, center from Oklahoma. This pick makes it more and more obvious that the Blythe signing was just a worst-case scenario if the Chiefs couldn’t get a solid center. Standing in a 6’4″ and weighing in at 312 pounds, Creed is ready to block for one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
On Creed himself, he started all three years and rarely missed games at Oklahoma, which shows he has durability on the line which is something the Chiefs wish they had in the previous Super Bowl (I’m sorry I had to bring that up). He can keep his feet moving no matter what, shoving defensive lineman off, and has shown he can get to that next level in time; this makes him good for run blocking. He also has amazing vision, being able to plug in holes that the defense could squeeze through.
On terms of pass blocking, he has allowed zero sacks when blocking. I think that says everything in a nutshell.
There isn’t much to say after all this; I’m still shocked he fell this far. Let’s just see that spectacular grade:
Draft Grade: A+
Round Four, Pick 144: Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
After losing Kpassagnon, the Chiefs needed to draft a defensive end to fill in that hole and to find someone reliable to play alongside Frank Clark; this is where Joshua Kaindoh comes in. With the 144th pick, the Chiefs selected this 6’7″, 265-pound physical behemoth from Florida State. In his last seven games in his senior year, he racked up 14 total tackles, three sacks, an interception, and a pick-six from that interception.
Kaindoh is as athletic as you would want in a defensive end; he has fantastic speed, and he’s elusive off the snap. You’ll barely see him get elevated off his feet, possessing great footwork and being able to stay planted at the point of attack. He’s a defensive end with a motherload of upside if he develops well in the NFL.
With that said, he had issues with consistency at Florida State. He has to find a way to be productive and consistent every game. He’s also not the strongest compared to all other defensive ends in this draft, which is why he relies on his speed. However, this was still a great pick by Veach and company.
Draft Grade: B+
Round Five, Pick 162: Noah Gray, TE, Duke
Even after resigning Nick Keizer and Blake Bell, the Chiefs weren’t done elevating that tight end core. With the 162nd pick, the Chiefs selected Noah Gray, a 6’3″, 240-pound TE out of Duke. In his senior season (ten games), he caught 29 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
Gray excels in route running, as he’s smooth with his routes, and he can make cuts that can confuse defenders. He has great awareness and vision, along with having great hands (already has points above Keizer). He already seems like a great backup tight end for the Chiefs. He shines in contested catches which is something everyone would love, especially Mahomes.
With the good, there comes the bad. Gray can’t block at all; linebackers and defensive ends alike shed through him like swiss cheese. He also had a disappointing senior season; in his junior season, he had 51 catches for 392 yards and three touchdowns. Compare that to his senior season that I previously stated, it’s not that good.
While it wasn’t a bad selection, I feel as though this pick could’ve been used in other areas. It was still a good pickup, but after Kelce signed his contract extension as he’ll be playing with the Chiefs until he’s 36, I don’t understand this pick unless it’s for depth. I would’ve gone corner, but then again, that front office knows more than me.
Draft Grade: C+
Round Five, Pick 181: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson
After Watkins signed with the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs needed to snag a sloid WR2 that can catch those 50/50 balls. They found that in the fifth round as with the 181st pick, the Chiefs selected Cornell Powell, a 6’0″, 205-pound WR from Clemson. In his senior season (12 games), he posted 53 catches for 882 yards and seven touchdowns; he averaged over 16 yards per catch. He even had a three-game stretch where he had 100 receiving yards in each of those three games.
Powell has shown multiple times on film that he has a fanatical route running. His hand-eye coordination is among the best in the draft, rarely dropping any pass that’s thrown to him. He also thrives in contested catches, which is the last piece this Chiefs’ offense required to start this 2021-22 NFL season. He even has great awareness, knowing when to turn, extend his arms, etc.
Powell doesn’t have a lot of speed to his game, but by using PEMDAS, it cancels out due to his ability to be able to catch contested catches and win them out most of the time.
The Chiefs filled a need with this pick. He’s a great receiver that could develop into a solid WR2 for many years to come. Great pick Veach; you’ve been great this whole draft!
Draft Grade: A-
Round Six, Pick 226: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
First-round talent selected in the sixth round; what else is there to say? The Chiefs snagged a true diamond in the rough with the 226th pick as they selected Trey Smith, a 6’5″, 330-pound guard from the University of Tennessee. The reason he fell this far was due to blood clots in his lungs, which I feel bad for. He’s been completely open about it, as he stated on ABC News that:
I know that’s something we haven’t been completely open about in the past due to my own privacy. But at the end of the day, it’s a plan that will not only sustain itself in the NFL but have a lot of success as well.
We will have a lot of success in the NFL. Smith is explosive with every block he gives, planting his feet and rarely showing any movement unless the play calls for it. He keeps his feet moving, being able to soar to the second level after sheading a defensive lineman, tackle, or linebacker. He’s also been able to plug up holes that the defensive can’t go through, just like Creed Humphrey like I previously stated.
I don’t think there’s anything else to say. Let’s see that beautiful grade:
Draft Grade: A+
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