Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and Nick Bolton were all part of a celebrated draft class from the 2021 offseason that helped cement Brett Veach as a bright young general manager for the Kansas City Chiefs. With that particular draft, Veach really began to lay a strong foundation going forward and followed it up with an even greater draft—with the two classes forming a bright young core that helped carry the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
As these classes mature, some performers will turn the corner into elite status and become the next stars of their particular positions. At this point, three players are being recognized by CBS Sports in a list highlighting the best NFL players 25-and-under, and that's the aforementioned trio from the class of '21.
Humphrey is earning such accolades left and right and has already earned so much respect for his consistently dominant play at his position that he's a Pro Bowler in his second year. Other than Jason Kelce, Humphrey is known as the best center in football (and certainly in the AFC) and unless something happens physically, he should carry that title forward for the next several seasons.
Smith was deemed a medical risk heading into the draft despite his body of work as a mauler for the University of Tennessee. The Chiefs' own staff signed off on him, however, and Smith has been an above average starter since the moment he hit the field. It's nice to see him included alongside Humphrey on a list like this.
And lest you think the defense is without representation, linebacker Nick Bolton has been a bright spot in the heart of the defense since he first took the field during his rookie campaign. He came into the league with a strong reputation as one of college football's finest thumpers, but he's been much more than that for the Chiefs. He's also proven to be a passionate leader, gifted communicator, and an instinctual tackler who has a real nose for the opposing backfield.
Here's what's trending in other Chiefs news
Jones does a lot of talking but fortunately his play almost always backs up what he's projecting. This time, he's banking on being the league's defensive MVP. After watching him wreck opposing linemen last season, we wouldn't bet against him.
Former Chiefs running back Derrick Blaylock has been building up his training business over the last several years and many former or current Chiefs players have been customers. Apparently the Chiefs newest defensive tackle is the latest.