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Kansas City Chiefs NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection

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Nick Bolton's NFL draft profile (1:00)

Check out the best highlights from Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton. (1:00)

The 2021 NFL draft was held April 29 through May 1 and every Kansas City Chiefs' draft pick has been analyzed here.

After last season's virtual draft, Cleveland is playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Kansas City has selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated NFL depth charts


Round 2, No. 58 overall: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

My take: The Chiefs lost Damien Wilson -- one of their top linebackers last season in terms of playing time -- to free agency. Bolton could immediately claim at least some of Wilson's snaps. He'll have it earn them, though. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is notorious for making rookies prove they're ready for any game action they get. Bolton's ability to hit will be useful for the Chiefs and he will join veteran linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay, a second-round draft pick last season, as the main candidates for playing time.


Round 2, No. 63 overall: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

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Creed Humphrey's NFL draft profile

Check out some of the best highlights that make Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey a player to watch in this year's NFL draft.

My take: The Chiefs continued the makeover of their offensive line, which collapsed during a lopsided Super Bowl LV loss to the Bucs. Humphrey could wind up as the starting center when next season begins. The Chiefs have veteran fallback candidates but Humphrey will be given the chance to win the job. He is the seventh new offensive lineman from last season. That counts not only Orlando Brown, who came in via trade, and free-agent additions Joe Thuney, Kyle Long and Austin Blythe but also Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang, who opted out of last season.


Round 4, No. 144 overall: Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State

My take: The selection of Kaindoh fills one of the Chiefs' biggest remaining positional needs. Whether Kaindoh can be of immediate help is a question, though. He had eight sacks in four collegiate seasons, though he was limited at times by injuries. The potential for development is there and it's up to the Chiefs to eventually get production from him.


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Noah Gray's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Duke TE Noah Gray's college career.

Round 5, No. 162 overall: Noah Gray, TE, Duke

My take: Gray is the first tight end drafted by the Chiefs since 2015 and he looks to be different than any backup they’ve had behind Travis Kelce. The Chiefs believe he can be versatile in the passing game, lining up in the slot or the backfield and be effective running routes and beating coverage. After signing veteran backup Blake Bell, the Chiefs don’t need Gray to be a powerful blocker immediately -- though he will need to develop those skills eventually.


Round 5, No. 181 overall: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson

My take: The Chiefs needed another player to throw into the mix at wide receiver. Powell doesn’t figure as an immediate starter but could push for playing time. His 4.47 40 at Clemson’s pro day doesn’t put him in a class with Tyreek Hill or Mecole Hardman, but Powell is fast enough to help the Chiefs eventually, if not right away. If the Chiefs don’t add a free agent, they will go into the season with a receiving group that includes Hill, Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and Powell.


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Trey Smith's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Tennessee OG Trey Smith's college career.

Round 6, No. 226 overall: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee

My take:The Chiefs have more than a crowd on the offensive line after adding eight linemen from last year, including two in the draft. For that reason, it's unlikely Smith will find much if any playing time as a rookie. But longer term, he projects as a starter. He dropped in the draft because of concern about blood clots, but he said he hasn't had an issue with them in awhile.