LB Nick Bolton joined the Chiefs in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bolton racked up 198 tackles over 2 starting seasons, including 16.5 tackles for loss. He added 12 passes defensed. Bolton followed that up with a 64th-percentile speed score at his pro day. The biggest question for IDP purposes might be what his arrival means for Willie Gay Jr.'s outlook, but there's room for both to earn full-time roles and displace the lineup incumbents. Bolton looks like the safer bet for regular duty and production, with Gay the higher-upside athlete.
Chiefs LB Ben Niemann left in the 1st half of Sunday's win over the Falcons with a hamstring injury. With Anthony Hitchens (COVID list) and Damien Wilson (knee) already inactive, that left Darius Harris and Willie Gay Jr. to lead the LB corps in playing time. Harris edged Gay by 5 snaps, but Gay posted a team-high 9 tackles (7 solo). Kansas City clinched the AFC's top playoff seed with the win, so a meaningless Week 17 would seem like the perfect spot to give the 2nd-round rookie another start and a long look -- especially with other LBs nursing injuries. We'll see how this week unfolds, though.
The Chiefs grabbed LB Willie Gay Jr. with the penultimate pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Gay flashed impressive ability despite limited on-field experience at Mississippi State. He lost 8 games last season to an academic-fraud suspension and also punched a teammate, who then missed the Music City Bowl. Gay lands in a nice situation for immediate opportunity, though. Kansas City finished last season with no LB consistently playing full time. We'll see if he's ready to seize that opportunity in 2020. Gay certainly carries long-term intrigue for dynasty leagues.