The Kansas City Chiefs added to their defense with the No. 58 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night, selecting University of Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton.
Here are five things to know about the newest member of the defense.
1. Bolton was a two-year starter at Mizzou.
The six-foot-tall, 232-pound Bolton was a star for the Tigers, starting 22 games over the last two seasons. Bolton notched 16.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks in that time, establishing himself as an energetic playmaker who always seemed to be around the ball.
He earned First-Team All-SEC honors in each of the last two years and garnered Second-Team All-America recognition in 2020.
2. He's a tackling machine.
Bolton led Missouri in tackles in each of the last two seasons - racking up 202 total tackles since 2019 while averaging more than nine tackles-per-game - but his production went beyond just the record books in Columbia. In fact, Bolton recorded the most defensive stops of any linebacker in SEC play in each of the last two seasons.
In simpler terms, here's how Pro Football Focus described Bolton in their pre-draft analysis:
"Brick wall. Opposition will be the one moving backward on contact."
3. Bolton consistently made plays in coverage, too.
While primarily known for his skills in stopping the run, Bolton has also shown impressive coverage skills. He amassed 15 passes defensed for the Tigers and tallied two interceptions over the last two seasons, returning one of those picks for a touchdown.
The Kansas City Chiefs added to their defense by selecting University of Missouri Linebacker Nick Bolton in the 2nd Round (Pick 58) of the second day of 2021 NFL Draft
4. He's known for his energy and leadership on the field.
A team captain in 2020, Bolton has earned recognition for his attitude and leadership qualities. According to Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Bolton was "well-respected by his teammates and described as a 'consummate professional' by Missouri defensive coordinator Ryan Walters for his character and work ethic."
That work ethic certainly translated to his performance. Here's more from PFF:
"He's a tone-setter in every sense of the word. Bolton wants to send a message to every player he comes in contact with. There are no role projection concerns with Bolton, either. Put him at Mike linebacker and profit."
5. He's a Texas native.
Bolton grew up in Frisco, Texas and was a star at Lone Star High School, winning district MVP honors twice. The son of a former college linebacker, Bolton grew into one of the top performers in the area and eventually earned the designation of a three-star recruit.
Bolton committed to Mizzou prior to the 2018 campaign, and only a few years later, his professional career is continuing just a couple hours to the west.