May 01, 2021 1:55 PM

Chiefs take linebacker and center with Day 2 picks

Posted May 01, 2021 1:55 PM

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, keeping him close to home while providing an athletic upgrade to the middle of their defense.

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 with their initial pick, the Chiefs used the first of 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.

Not long after selecting Bolton, the Chiefs took Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey with the 63rd overall pick. Humphrey could wind up as the starting center when next season begins. The Chiefs have veteran fallback candidates but Humphrey will be given the chance to win the job. He is the seventh new offensive lineman from last season. That counts not only Orlando Brown, who came in via trade, and free-agent additions Joe Thuney, Kyle Long and Austin Blythe but also Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang, who opted out of last season.

Earlier in the day, the Chiefs signed running back Jerrick McKinnon to a one-year deal to provide depth behind starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

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

The Chiefs, unless they trade up, won't have another pick until late in the fourth round. They also head into the draft's final day with two picks in the fifth round and one in the sixth.