This year’s NFL Draft will see talented and underrated linebackers available throughout the draft process.
Throughout last season, the Chiefs looked like world-beaters. Even with that, it was clear the linebacker position was going to look different going into the 2021 season.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens has two years left on his contract. The Chiefs may look to draft a linebacker to learn under Hitchens and embrace a sideline role to learn and develop.
Last year rookie linebacker Willie Gay Jr. showed to be a playmaker in both pass coverage and run-stopping. Despite a meniscus surgery cutting his season short, the Chiefs should attempt to build the future of linebackers in this hefty linebackers draft.
Nick Bolton – Missouri
I don’t believe there is a better linebacker in the draft than Bolton. His physicality in stopping the run has made him a force to be reckoned with in the South Eastern Conference.
One knock on him is that he’s a little undersized listed at just 6’0″. As a projected first round selection, the Chiefs could see him fall to them at No. 31 and they should strongly consider taking the second-team All-American.
In the best football conference, Bolton led the conference in tackles in 2019 with 103 total tackles. This season he finished seventh in the league in tackles.
Bolton could be a huge run stopper for the Chiefs. At Missouri, he’s also shown an ability in pass coverage, but playing off Gay and learning under a veteran like Hitchens would be beneficially for the Missouri linebacker.
Chazz Surratt – North Carolina
Surratt began his collegiate career playing quarterback, but struggles and being sidelined left him to change position to linebacker. Since then his career has taken off and he has shown promise.
As an athletic, Surratt jumps off the page, his speed and quickness makes him a threat to make plays. Combined with his football IQ from playing quarterback, he was able to have an immediate impact at his new position.
In two seasons Surratt has combined for 206 tackles with two interceptions, according to Sports Reference. This guy would be the perfect day two draft pick for the Chiefs as they continue to rebuild for another potential Super Bowl run.
Zaven Collins – Tulsa
Alongside Bolton, Collins headlines this draft class of linebackers. In three years at Tulsa, the first-team All-American has turned a lot of heads with his evolving game.
Collins’ pass coverage leveled up this past season, with four interceptions, two of them being pick-sixes. Whenever it was needed, Collins would make a big play for the golden hurricane, including his walk-off pick-six in double overtime against Tulane.
After such an impressive run at Tulsa, Collins could also be taken before the Chiefs first round pick. But his quick speed in both the run and pass makes him a threat on all downs.
Dylan Moses – Alabama
There isn’t a more talented guy on this list than Moses. Coming out of high school, Moses was listed as the No. 5 in the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2017.
When it comes to stopping the run, Moses’ hard-hitting and his angles earned him a third-team All-American selection. Moses has 162 tackles across his last two seasons, according to Sports Reference.
Since Gay Jr. has shown the ability to play pass coverage, Moses would be a nice run piece to build around him for the future.
A day two selection for Moses would be ideal for the Chiefs to draft other needed positions. At that point in the draft, a talented guy like Moses could be a lethal combination with the rest of their talent.
Moses is certainly a draft prospect to keep an eye on for this upcoming draft for Chiefs Kingdom.
All four of these linebackers could be the future solution at linebacker for Kansas City. Though Bolton and Collins may already be gone, Surratt and Moses could be two later round picks that could be the linebacker future for the Chiefs.