Here’s our quick draft grade for the Kansas City Chiefs’ only third-round selection: Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal.
With their third and final selection on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin. This pick puts the Chiefs in the conversation for winning the whole damn draft. This kid has a mean streak like none other and is one of the best tacklers in the entire class.
What we like
First and foremost, we love that Chenal fell to pick No. 103 overall.
Chenal was a consensus 60-70 ranked prospect who slid forever down the board and was passed over by six other teams who selected linebackers in rounds 2 and 3. Physically, he is an anomaly. At 6’3″ and 250 pounds, he runs a 4.53 second time in the 40-yard dash and boasts a 40.5″ vertical jump. Not to mention that he skips weights and just bench presses the gym itself. The Chiefs are going from a bottom 3-5 defensive front in the NFL in 2021 to having one of the most physically imposing, big-bodied front sevens in the entire league.
Last year at Wisconsin, Chenal had 115 total tackles, 18.5 for a loss, and 8 sacks. Sliding him into the box alongside fellow 2021 draftee George Karlaftis, and the rest of the gang—Nick Bolton, Willie Gay, Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, and Frank Clark—is going to bring a new look defense to the gridiron in 2022.
What we don’t like
The primary knock on a kid who is built like rebar is that he can sometimes appear stiff. Chenal can be limited in shaking blockers with his lack of lateral explosiveness and has room to improve upon his overall technique.
The concerns with Chenal are far outweighed by the things about him that can’t be taught. His strength and ferocity as a tackler are going to round out the Chiefs linebacking corps in a way that will have Javonte Williams, Josh Jacobs, and Austin Ekeler thinking twice about lowering their shoulder in the middle of the field.