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Fantasy impact of the Chiefs’ 2021 NFL Draft selections

The Chiefs’ rookie class shrunk as a result of the Orlando Brown Jr. trade, but the potential for Year 1 impact remains.

Kansas City players line up on the field before the NFL Super Bowl LIV game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on February 2, 2020. Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Even before the draft officially began, the Kansas City Chiefs made their first major “selection,” trading their first-round pick along with other draft capital to the Baltimore Ravens for offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., the No. 58 overall pick, and a 2022 sixth-rounder. While the swap leaves Kansas City with only two top-100 selections this year, Brown stabilizes an offensive line that lost both of its starting tackles from the prior season. Along with premium free-agent addition Joe Thuney, Patrick Mahomes’ O-line will now feature at least three new starters and possibly all five.

While the new unit should better protect Mahomes, it does leave the Chiefs with little ammunition for improving at the skill positions. Sammy Watkins already departed this offseason pushing Mecole Hardman into a featured role. Demarcus Robinson returns on a one-year deal, but Kansas City could use a more physically skilled wideout to use alongside All-Pro Tyreek Hill.

But despite the Chiefs’ lack of picks, the deep class of rookie wideouts offers the chance to find first-round impact on Day 2 of the draft. Just last year, second-rounder Chase Claypool delivered nine touchdowns and nearly 900 receiving yards in a part-time role. In an offense as dynamic as Kansas City’s, a wideout can realistically put up fantasy-relevant production as a rookie.

Kansas City Chiefs 2021 draft selections

No. 58: Nick Bolton, LB
No. 63: Creed Humphrey, C
No. 144: Joshua Kaindoh, DE
No. 162: Noah Gray, TE
No. 181: Cornell Powell, WR
No. 226: Trey Smith, OG

Fantasy football impact

Noah Gray, TE

With Travis Kelce in place in Kansas City, there really isn’t much room for fantasy production out of a tight end. Selecting Gray is likely a depth move.

Cornell Powell, WR

Powell was a top recruit to Clemson, but couldn’t beat out other receivers until his senior year, but he showed well last season. His slow development isn’t what you want to see from a prospect, but he was fundamentally sound and showed enough to expect him to stick in the league. He also ended up being the only WR the Chiefs drafted and there is a need for a WR3 in Kansas City. He’s a long shot to have fantasy value, but one I’d take as a flier in dynasty.