Nick Bolton gives the KC Chiefs depth at the linebacker position

Linebacker Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Linebacker Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

With the No. 58 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the KC Chiefs selected Nick Bolton. The linebacker out of Missouri gives the defense a good tackler and should pack a punch for Steve Spagnuolo.

The Kansas City Chiefs have made their first selection of the 2021 NFL Draft and addressed a major position of need with it, grabbing Missouri Tigers linebacker Nick Bolton. The Mizzou linebacker won’t have a long commute from Columbia to his new NFL team and will give the Chiefs defense the kind of tackling machine they’ve been needing, especially at the linebacker position.

Bolton was a two-time First-Team All-SEC linebacker for the Tigers and despite going No. 58 overall, was projected as a first-round pick frequently throughout the offseason. The Chiefs have Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay as their main linebackers moving forward and now they’ll add Bolton to that mix.

Welcome to the KC Chiefs, Nick Bolton!

What jumps out the most about Bolton is his tackle numbers. In 2019, Bolton collected 103 tackles and tallied 95 tackles in two fewer games this past year. He only had three sacks the past two years, but tackling is the big thing here with this pick, as the Chiefs defense struggles to tackle and bring down defenders.

Per PFF Draft, Bolton was quite good against the run, notching 77 run stops during his time at Missouri. The local product is going to be a good fit for the Chiefs defense both as a tackling machine and as a run stopper, which are two things that the defense needs to improve at.

The Chiefs haven’t been able to find a decent linebacker since Derrick Johnson was released following the 2017 season. While there’s hope that Gay can become a more reliable option, he’s only entering year two. If he picks up where he left off before getting injured and Bolton comes out of the gates hot, linebacker will go from a weakness to a strength.

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This is a nice pick by the Chiefs, especially considering they still landed Bolton in the second round. What are your thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs selecting Nick Bolton out of Missouri?