Nick Bolton has plenty of praise for Chiefs rookie tight end Jared Wiley

Jared Wiley is turning the heads of his teammates as well as those in the media.
NFL Combine
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Jared Wiley is turning the heads of his teammates as well as those in the media.

Nick Bolton knows a thing or do about making an impact as a rookie.

Back in 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs used their first of two second-round selections on Bolton, an aggressive tackler out of Missouri, and he was an instant plug-and play linebacker in the heart of Steve Spagnuolo's defense. By the end of that first year, Bolton had played in 16 games, started 12 of them, and stole the mantle as the team's best tackler.

These days, Bolton is the savvy veteran leader who has insights to offer on the team's incoming rookie crop. In a recent interview with Justin Melo of The Draft Network, Bolton spoke glowingly about some of the newer faces on offense—including first-round pick Xavier Worthy and free agent signee Marquise Brown—but he saved his highest praise for Jared Wiley.

Wiley is the Chiefs' newest tight end, a fourth-round grab out of Texas Christian who looks imposing at a physical pass catcher with a tall frame. Wiley had 8 touchdowns a year ago for the Horned Frogs among his 47 catches for 520 yards.

Coming out of the Chiefs' minicamps, Wiley has already become a major talking point among reporters observing practices and it's clear the coaches like him, too. Travis Kelce also noticed that he's farther as a rookie than he was at this same point in his career. It's clear that defenders have also taken notice of Wiley's presence on the field. Here's what Bolton had to say:

"The tight end we got [Jared Wiley] looks like a great red-zone target. He’s a great route-runner that already understands spacing. That’s impressive considering he’s yet to play a game in this league. He understands concepts and finds ways to get open. He’s in the right place at the right time and understands how to dominate his leverage. He’s legit almost 6-foot-8. Once you get the ball in his vicinity, he’s going to come down with it."

That's an exciting scouting report comoing from a player who is going to have to get used to defending against him in practice. He's got the ultimate tutor with Kelce as TE1 on the depth chart, and being surrounded by Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes can't hurt one's learning curve either.

Exactly how much playing time Wiley can get is unknown and Noah Gray is still a solid factor as the primary backup, but Wiley sounds like a guy who is going to force the Chiefs to find a way to include him.