NFL Draft grades: KC Chiefs earn high marks from nearly everyone

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 5: Linebacker Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers in action against the Troy Trojans at Memorial Stadium on October 5, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 5: Linebacker Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers in action against the Troy Trojans at Memorial Stadium on October 5, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Just in case you decided to get away for the weekend and come back to see how the K.C. Chiefs fared over the course of the 2021 NFL Draft, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by what you see. That’s because Brett Veach and company had, by nearly all accounts, a very, very good weekend for the future of the franchise.

After spending countless hours scouting and profiling hundreds of pro hopefuls for the last year (or more), the 2021 NFL Draft finally arrived and brought with it six new players who can call themselves Chiefs. The undrafted haul will bring the total higher than that, but for our purposes of actual draft selections, the six names submitted by the Chiefs on draft cards have made the team better in both the interim and for the long term.

Despite not having picks in the first, third, and seventh rounds, the Chiefs still made six picks including two apiece in the second and fifth rounds. By addressing significant issues on both sides of the ball and further strengthening the lines, Veach earned praise from nearly every media outlet. For the sake of review, here’s a rundown of the Chiefs picks:

  • Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri – 2nd round
  • Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma – 2nd round
  • Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State – 4th round
  • Noah Gray, TE, Duke – 5th round
  • Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson – 5th round
  • Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee – 6th round

Over at The Ringer, Danny Kelly believes that with the inclusion of the first-round pick and more traded for Orlando Brown Jr., the return for the Chiefs is “outstanding,” but even then he write, ‘but it’s a quality group even if we don’t.” Kelly praises most of the team’s selections but loves the potential of Smith at the bottom of round six to be a steal. He gave the Chiefs an “A” grade overall.

The Chiefs earned very high grades for the 2021 NFL Draft.

At the NFL’s official site, Chad Reuter loved every day of the Chiefs draft class and gave them an “A’ or “A-” after each day. The latter was also the final grade for the overall haul of selections. He liked Bolton as a player but felt the Chiefs could have used help at other spots. However, he liked the other second round pick and wrote, “Humphrey was a steal at 63 to tighten up the middle of the line.”

Mel Kiper Jr. was a bit more muted in his praise of the team’s draft class, although he did give the Chiefs a solid “B” grade. He liked the efforts to repair the offensive line this offseason overall and with this draft class but he lamented the Chiefs inability to grab better talent at both wideout and edge rusher.

Over at Pro Football Focus, they gave the Chiefs a nice grade of “B+” and really liked the selection of Smith in the sixth as well. While they explained his worrying medicals, they also noted, “This is a home run from an on-the-field perspective, though.”

Ryan Dunelavy at the New York Post gave the Chiefs a “B” grade but loved Humphrey in the second round and admitted they didn’t include the Orlando Brown trade as part of their grading process.

Fans are going to love reading what Nate Davis had to say about the Chiefs draftees at USA Today. Not only does he give the class an “A-” grade, but he mentions that both Bolton and Humphrey “seem likely to be starters no later than the midpoint of the 2021 season for a team with few job openings.” If so, that’s a strong early impact from a rookie class.

While instant grades matter very little in the grand scheme, it’s nice to see the Chiefs earn such positive grades for their efforts over draft weekend. Now fans can only hope that these predictive takes hold true.

Next. Ranking every Chiefs first-round pick since 2000. dark