Well, the Kansas City Chiefs just got out of the 2021 NFL draft and picked six players, adding Missouri LB Nick Bolton, Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey, Florida State DE Joshua Kaindoh, Duke TE Noah Gray, Clemson WR Cornell Powell and Tennessee OG Trey Smith.
Those rookies will all compete to gain a spot in the primary team.
Last season, the rookies Clyde Edwards-Helaire and L’Jarius Sneed were hot, and Willie Gay Jr will become a strong player in the Chiefs defense this year according to many observers.
It is obviously really early to tell anything about the last draft class but who do we expect to be the best rookie this season?
Will Bolton kick out a current starter at the linebacker position? Will Humphrey be a rookie starter on the revamped offensive line? Will Kaindoh surprise? Will Smith be able to stay healthy?
Humphrey could be the rookie who gets more attention this year. Since Mitch Morse went to play for the Buffalo Bills, the center position has not been one of the Chiefs biggest asset. Austin Reiter and Daniel Kilgore held the strong for a couple of years but needless to say the level has been downgraded after Morse departure.
Humphrey, a 6’5 center from Oklahoma, has been put into question and even described as mediocre before the draft, but he just shut down all the doubts during his Pro Day.
He is very athletic, he has one of the highest football IQs in this year offensive line class and could potentially be ready to start Week 1 if the team chooses to go that way.
Humphrey has a ton of experience though, he appeared in 39 games (37 starts) during his three-year career with the Sooners, tallying 2,488 snaps in that time. His biggest quality was his consistency. In fact, he didn’t allow a sack his entire career and yielded just two quarterback hits (neither of which occurred in 2020) and 26 total hurries during his time on campus.
Additionally, Humphrey was teammates with Orlando Brown Jr. at Oklahoma and it looks like Brown clearly had an impact on his draft with the Kansas City Chiefs. Good things to come if those two are on the same page…
If he can prove his strong abilities as a center, it could be one of the best pick for years to come to snap the ball in front of Patrick Mahomes. The addition of Humphrey now gives the team an impact player to upgrade the interior.
Along with Joe Thuney and Brown having another impact lineman with a minimal cap hit for the next four seasons is going to help the line from getting too expensive.