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Chiefs draft Mizzou LB Bolton, Oklahoma C Humphrey in second round of NFL Draft

NFL Hall of Famer Will Shields announces Nick Bolton, linebacker from Missouri, as a selection...
NFL Hall of Famer Will Shields announces Nick Bolton, linebacker from Missouri, as a selection by the Kansas City Chiefs during the second round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 30, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)(David Dermer | AP)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs selected Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton with the No. 58 overall pick in the NFL draft Friday night, then added Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey five selections later after waiting until Day 2 to add to their roster.

The Chiefs did not have a first-round pick after dealing it to Baltimore this week in a package for two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Orlando Brown, filling their biggest offensive need. So after a long wait, the Chiefs finally used their initial pick — the first of their two second-round choices — to fill their biggest need on defense.

Many draft pundits had projected Bolton, a Butkus Award finalist, to be a late-first round pick, but he slipped to Kansas City early in the second round. He’s expected to take over the middle linebacker spot that opened up when Damien Wilson signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Jaguars earlier this month.

Humphrey continues a complete rebuild of the Chiefs offensive line after it was decimated by opt outs and injuries last season, then ran roughshod over by the Buccaneers defense in a blowout Super Bowl defeat.

The Chiefs added Brown to play left tackle, signed veterans Joe Thuney and Austin Blythe to play guard and center, and lured former All-Pro offensive lineman Kyle Long out of retirement. They also plan to get back Laurent Duveray-Tardif, a starter who opted out last season, and Lucas Niang, a third-round pick a year ago who also opted out.

The letdown in the Super Bowl clearly convinced general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid that they needed to add more — and better — depth in front of quarterback Patrick Mahomes next season. Humphrey will compete for a starting job right away without the pressure of being forced into the lineup from Day 1.

Earlier in the day, the Chiefs signed running back Jerick McKinnon to provide depth behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

The versatile McKinnon missed the 2018 and ’19 seasons due to injuries but returned last season to appear in 16 games for the 49ers, running for 319 yards and five touchdowns while adding another score through the air.

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