What to expect from chef recruits in 2021
From Nick Bolton and Creed Humphrey to Cornell Powell and Trey Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs rookie class will have a variety of expectations and roles to fulfill in the 2021 NFL season. But what can we expect from the new names of KC? Let’s look at the crystal ball.
Round 2, Pick 58: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Chiefs’ first choice in that draft was a relatively widely predicted pick ahead of draft day, as they selected Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton. This choice has received mixed reactions across the Chiefs Kingdom, as some find him mediocre due to lower place value, concerns about his cover ability, and belief that he will be unable to take enough shots of Ben Niemann. , Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay. Jr. in the first year. Others find him a great choice with his high-level instinct, impressive range, fit in a Steve Spagnuolo system, and the relatively weak linebacker hall currently at KC.
While there seems to be some legitimacy to concern about Bolton’s covering ability, he’s certainly showing some good flashes there, as he’s only allowed 332 yards of cover in 621 cover shots according to Focus on professional football (PFF). It is quite impressive. I think Bolton has a good role in this team, being one of the top three linebackers alongside Hitchens and Gay. I think Bolton will take a fair amount of early snapshots to help stop opposing racing fouls and I think he will do a good job improving the running defense with his instinct, football IQ and his quality range.
Round 2, Pick 63: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
The other second round pick for the Chiefs was, in my opinion, one of the best offensive linemen in that category. Creed Humphrey was Oklahoma’s starting center for the past three seasons and was one of the most beloved players of the Lincoln Riley era, Riley, and fans. He was considered the offense chief, receiving the Sooner offense captain in 2020, and his output has been remarkable, not allowing a single sack in nearly 1,300 pass-blocking shots at OU according to PFF. Also by PFF, Humphrey had 343 “true passing plays”, games that have no play action, no screen pass, no designed roll out, a throw time between two and four seconds and at most. minus three passing throwers, and in those games he’s also had zero allowed quarterbacks and only five allowed pushes. These numbers are remarkable! On top of that, he’s also an excellent running blocker, posting a 70+ PFF rating over all three seasons and an 84.7 rating in 2020. Humphrey is an athletic freak as well, win a perfect 10 Relative athletic score (RAS).
Humphrey clearly appears to be the most pro-ready player in this draft class. To me, Humphrey is more than worthy of becoming an immediate starter on this team and could quickly become the best center the Chiefs have had since Mitch Morse was on the team in 2018, despite my belief that Austin Reiter was pretty solid. and that Austin Blythe, the starting point for consensus before Humphrey was drafted, is not child’s play. I want Humphrey to start in week 1 and I think he will be able to be successful with what he shows the team at training camp. I think Humphrey will do a great job as the leader of the offensive line, especially with Joe Thuney and Kyle Long or Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on either side of him, and I think he’ll be the third best lineman in the game. the team in 2021, behind Thuney. and left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
Round 4, choice 144: Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, State of Florida
Of all the players in the Chiefs’ draft class, Joshua Kaindoh was the one I knew the least before his name was called. I had initial weariness and confusion about this pick, especially with players like Daelin Hayes and Tarron Jackson, edge defenders I loved and knew much better, still on the board. However, over time, I got more and more heated. Kaindoh becomes an interesting prospect considering his skill set, potential growth, and less than ideal collegial situation with questionable coaching. Kaindoh also had a fantastic RAS, ending with a 9.59 RAS due to elite speed and explosion.
Still, Kaindoh is the least pro-loaner in the Chiefs’ draft class. In his final season at Florida State, Kaindoh failed to sack more than 207 pass shots and he failed to score over 70 assists in any of his college PFF seasons. The Chiefs know this and know this is a project rather than a plug-and-play player. I expect Kaindoh this year to be a red shirt year or a year where he is the fourth or fifth defenseman. If he ends up being the fourth edge defender, I would expect some nice flashes, thanks to the work of Spagnuolo and the team, but not the consistency needed to get consistent playing time. Hopefully Kaindoh will be ready to go in 2022 and beyond.
Round 5, choice 162: Noah Gray, TE, Duke
Noah Gray is the player of this class that most Chiefs fans have probably caught the most since the draft as the tight end Duke bring an intriguing skill set to a program most football fans don’t see. every week.
Gray’s receiving ability has yet to be fully utilized, but the highlights are huge and he will provide safe hands when targeted by Patrick Mahomes. In four seasons at Duke, Gray was shot 141 times and finished with 104 receptions, 944 yards and eight touchdowns. He also finished with just three drops, a remarkable achievement for that number of targets.
From what I can tell, Gray is set to be Travis Kelce’s back-up tight end in 2021. Gray, like Kelce, will be a receiving-focused tight end who will work primarily from the slot machine and show his skills. ability to win roads against linebackers and defensive backs. I think Gray will get around 400 yards and between three and five touchdowns in 2021 and quickly become a fan favorite on the field for his reliable hands and his innate ability to get anything moving with the ball.
Round 5, pick 181: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson
Cornell Powell could quite possibly become the biggest and most needed move of this draft class, due to the wide receiver’s positional value and the question marks over the KC position with Tyreek Hill as the only one. reliable wide receiver option. on the team. Fortunately, Powell looks like a competent partner for Hill and Kelce with his road racing ability. Powell also has some impressive numbers to show for himself from his 2020 season with Clemson. After having four seasons with 323 yards and three touchdowns on 56 targets, Powell finally got a big role with the Tigers and got 78 targets and made the most of them to the tune of 882 yards and seven touchdowns, including four games of over 100 yards and a two touchdown game in the college football playoff semifinal against Ohio State. Powell also reduced his abandon rate from 6.3% in 2019 to 3.6% in 2020 and he increased his yards per run traveled from 1.28 in 2019 to 2.22 in 2020.
Powell will enter training camp with a real battle in his hands, but also with a real chance of landing a starting job in a competition with Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle. Powell, in my mind, deserves to be the team’s X receiver, taking on the role Sammy Watkins played while he was in Kansas City. However, I believe he will be the fourth wide receiver at the start of the season, behind Hill, Robinson and Hardman, and he will have to wait a bit to climb the depth chart. I think Powell will end this season with about 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Round 6, Pick 226: Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
The Chiefs ‘final draft pick was also the biggest steal in the Chiefs’ draft, adding Tennessee offensive guard Trey Smith in the sixth round. Smith was considered a likely prospect on Day 2 for his performance on the pitch, but he saw his stock drop due to blood clots he had twice had in 2018. Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach , said the team was comfortable. with Smith’s health, and even with the medical issues, there is no doubt that the risk is worth it.
On the pitch, Smith looks like a likely future starter. He shows tremendous strength and easily moves other large individuals. Once he gets his hands on a defensive lineman, he’s in trouble. Unfortunately, Smith has some issues with the process of getting his hands on linemen consistently, as his technique still needs some fine-tuning, but can be achieved with quality coaching in the NFL by l offensive lineman Andy Heck. In Tennessee, Smith allowed a sack of more than 755 pass blocking shots as a dedicated guard over the past two seasons, an impressive feat.
I believe Smith is going to be another redshirt draft pick and he’ll be the team’s fourth or fifth guard. Look for Smith to take a look into the future, maybe 2022 or 2023, for the right starting guard post. But for 2021, I think he’s the choice least likely to have a role due to his needed improvement and the players above him in the depth table.
Takeaways and Notes for the 2021 Chiefs Draft Class
This draft class has a good mix of players who could make a quick impact and players with a longer term perspective in mind. Humphrey, Powell, Gray and Bolton are good quick-impact prospects, Humphrey being the most likely to succeed quickly, and Kaindoh and Smith look like 2021 ‘red shirts’ with high potential but a major need for technical improvement. I really like this project, although the chefs have taken up some positions later than I would have preferred. I’m giving this project a B + rating and can’t wait to see what will happen for these six players!