2021 NFL Draft Grade: Kansas City Chiefs

Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Round 2 Pick 58: LB Nick Bolton

Round 2 Pick 63: C Creed Humphrey

Round 4 Pick 144: DE Joshua Kaindoh

Round 5 Pick 162: TE Noah Gray

Round 5 Pick 181: WR Cornell Powell

Round 6 Pick 226: G Trey Smith


The Chiefs obviously recognized this offseason that they cannot hope to compete without some semblance of an offensive line. Their moves are reminiscent of that; beginning with a trade for tackle Orlando Brown Jr and free agent signings of Joe Thuney, Austin Blythe, and Kyle Long.

Not only did they pull all that off, but they also managed to find quality talent in the draft. Creed. Humphrey is the most talented center in this draft when healthy. He was a three-year starter at Oklahoma and has had plenty of experience while also proving to be durable. That is more than can be said of fellow top center  prospect Landon Dickerson. Humphrey is not extremely athletic, but his strength and leverage are both massive advantages in the trenches. 

In the sixth round, they also managed to find a prospect with Day Two talent in guard Trey Smith. With Kansas City’s newly acquired depth along the interior, Smith won’t be expected to have a profound impact early on. Smith is a mountain of a guard at 6’6 and 335 pounds. He is a powerful run blocker and plays with a nasty aggressiveness. That said, it may be best for his development to just be a depth guy for a year or two. He is still very stiff in his blocks and lacks the footwork necessary to keep up with quicker defenders. 

This is just the offensive linemen, too. The Chiefs also got one of college football’s top linebackers. Nick Bolton solidified himself as a top defender in the SEC during 2020, and his draft stock soared due to that production. He is a small player, but he has incredible instincts and athleticism. He has a great sense for where the ball is at all times, and his closing speed allows him to wrap up players quickly. 

Grade: B

The Chiefs addressed their main offensive line needs in free agency, but it is undeniable that having great depth is necessary. Kansas City found that depth here as well as solid defensive prospects. Not to mention, Cornell Powell is yet another freak athlete entering that wide receiver room.