KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton heard his name called when the Kansas City Chiefs selected him 58th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Bolton gets to stay in the state of Missouri and will fill a need on the Chiefs defense.
“All the hard work I put in to get to this position, working day in and day out, I tried to put myself in position to get my name called at the NFL Draft,” Bolton said. “That’s been a dream of mine since I was four or five years old, so I’ve been living that out. Being with my family, being close to them was a special moment for all of us.”
Bolton was voted to the 2019 First Team All-SEC and was the conference’s leading tackler that same year with 8.92 per game.
The linebacker’s sister, Jasmine, and mother, Jalunda, were diagnosed with cancer when Bolton was growing up and used them as inspiration to achieve his dream of making it to the NFL.
“I feel no pressure. Pressure was for my mom and my sister. They went through the pressure part,” Bolton said in an interview with NFL Network leading up to the draft. “This is leisure, this is fun. This is what I’ll hopefully be getting paid to do. So I don’t feel no pressure when it comes to being able to perform.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid believes Bolton will be able to make an instant impact with his versatility.
“He can play the Mike linebacker position, but he can also play the other positions there. So, yes he can. We had a bit of an advantage that we have Andy Hill on staff and Andy coached him and knows him personally, which helps,” Reid said. “We felt he could help us at any of the three positions, and you can’t have enough of those guys. We’re a little bit short just on bodies at our linebacker spot, so this helps us there.”
Bolton will help bolster the linebacker position with second year linebacker Willie Gay Jr. out of Mississippi State.
“I want to compete. I want to get myself in position to make plays for a football team,” Bolton said. “I want to be part of a legacy and make my mark in the NFL.”