3 Most Likely Players the Chiefs Will Draft At No. 31 Overall

Three players the Kansas City Chiefs will target in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three players the Kansas City Chiefs will target in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. / Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs came up just short in 2020, losing Super Bowl LV to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9. Obviously, this team is going to be a contender for years to come. But without much financial flexibility going forward, nailing the NFL Draft is of the utmost importance for KC.

Gunning for their second title in the past three seasons, here are three players the Chiefs will target in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Chiefs 2021 NFL Draft

3. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Chiefs famously have one of the best pass-catching groups in the league, boasting the likes of Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. But Watkins is set to hit free agency this offseason, and Hardman isn't consistent enough to be relied on as a No. 2 option. Bateman would be a great replacement for Watkins, and he's different enough from most of KC's WRs to avoid being redundant. Where Hill and Hardman are burners, Bateman is an excellent route runner with rock-solid hands. He's a really refined prospect who would bring a new element to this offense on the perimeter.

2. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri Tigers

Despite having spent a 2020 second-round pick on Willie Gay Jr., linebacker is clearly the Chiefs' biggest need on the defensive end. Even if Gay takes the step forward the Chiefs are hoping he will, LB is still a real position of need. Damien Wilson and Anthony Hitchens aren't great in coverage and weren't great in the run game either, as evidenced by KC having the league's second-worst run defense by DVOA. This unit could really stand to add some playmaking and speed. Missouri's Nick Bolton would do exactly that. He makes up for his lack of ideal size with excellent sideline-to-sideline speed and nose for the football. He'd be hard to pass up at No. 31 overall.

1. Alex Leatherwood, OT/OG, Alabama Crimson Tide

The Chiefs' offensive line got embarrassed in Super Bowl LV. In fact, Patrick Mahomes was pressured on more than half of his dropbacks. Normally, that would make the O-Line KC's biggest priority. But this unit's struggles were due to injuries, not a lack of talent. Still, at the very least, the loss showcased how badly the Chiefs need depth along the OL. And Alex Leatherwood would be the perfect fit. Incumbent left tackle Eric Fisher will likely miss a good chunk of time next year as he rehabs from an Achilles injury suffered in late January. Leatherwood could step in and replace Fisher at tackle until he's healthy enough to regain the job. But he's also had experience playing guard at Alabama, and that might be the position he's best suited for at the next level. The interior of the OL was a weakness all year in KC, so Leatherwood could fill in at LT before transitioning to a long-term role at guard. Given the state of their offensive line, drafting Leatherwood almost makes too much sense for the Chiefs.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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