By Matt McMullen – Chiefs.com
It became quite clear throughout last season that the Kansas City Chiefs came away from the 2021 NFL Draft with a unique haul of talent, and according to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs’ class was among the very best.
PFF reevaluated every team’s class from the 2021 Draft last week, replacing each squad’s original post-draft grade with an updated assessment following a full year of action. Kansas City was assigned a “B+” immediately following the draft, but with the 2021 season now in the books, they were one of only five teams to earn an “A+” grade this time around.
Here’s what they wrote about the Chiefs’ class:
“…The Chiefs knocked it out of the park. Creed Humphrey was the highest-graded center in the NFL as a rookie. Nick Bolton was the 13th-highest-graded linebacker. Finally, Trey Smith was one of the steals of the draft in the sixth round after he earned a 72.3 overall grade at right guard in 2021.”
The other teams to earn an “A+” in PFF’s reevaluation were the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. The difference between the Chiefs and those other teams, however, is that Kansas City was the only squad to earn an “A+” grade despite not having a first round pick. In fact, each of those teams made at least two selections before the Chiefs made their first pick at No. 58 overall.
Kansas City used that selection to take linebacker Nick Bolton, who went on to become just the ninth rookie – and the first since Darius Leonard in 2018 – to tally 110+ tackles and 10+ tackles-for-loss. The Chiefs then followed that up with another home run of a pick, selecting Creed Humphrey at No. 63 overall. Humphrey earned the best PFF grade of any center, regardless of rookie status, since 2017. Kansas City also landed perhaps the steal of the entire class a bit later, taking offensive guard Trey Smith with the No. 226 overall pick. Smith started every game for the Chiefs in 2021, earning the 12th-best grade among all guards.
The Chiefs also acquired tight end Noah Gray (who played in 16 games last season), edge-rusher Joshua Kaindoh and wide receiver Cornell Powell in last year’s draft, each of whom could earn larger roles in 2022 with a strong offseason program.
It was simply a tremendous draft for Kansas City, and with their 2022 class already earning high marks, the Chiefs will hope to land another “A+” grade in next year’s reevaluation.