What a draft it has been for general manager Brett Veach and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This has been a strength of the franchise for the better part of a decade and it’s the main reason for the sustained success we’ve seen in KC. In 2022, the Chiefs look to have made out like bandits so far on paper.
- Trent McDuffie, cornerback.
- George Karlaftis, edge rusher.
- Skyy Moore, wide receiver.
- Bryan Cook, safety.
- Leo Chenal, linebacker.
The final name on that list joined Chiefs Kingdom late on night two, but he still had plenty of energy to address the media just after his selection.
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‘I’m Gonna Be One of the Most Violent Guys on the Field at All Times’
During his first official video press conference with the franchise, Chenal detailed his greatest strengths and explained why his flaws won’t remain that way for long.
“People who watch my game know, I’m gonna be one of the most violent guys on the field at all times, being physical with every single play that I’m in,” the linebacker began. “Freshman year going into college I struggled with a lot of the things that you see as my strengths right now so I’m gonna just continue to grow and adapt and do whatever I can to be the best I can [be] for this defense.”
The Wisconsin Badger was certainly “violent” and “physical” in college, with 115 total tackles his junior year (18.5 for a loss) and eight sacks. Draft analyst Lance Zierlein described the 6-foot-3 hard-hitter as a “densely muscled” player that’s comparable to a “cinder block” between the tackles.
Chenal told reporters that he’s “excited to learn everything I can” and play strong-side linebacker or wherever Steve Spagnuolo needs him. In a prior interview with Leah Doherty, the Badger also spoke about how his background bred his play style.
He voiced: “Coming from a big family, I was so competitive growing up with my brothers especially — flying on each other’s necks, punching each other, whatever it is… that drove me to be competitive, I wanted to be the best at everything. Football is the thing I love most in life besides faith and family obviously, it’s my passion in life… [his NFL team is] going to get someone that’s bringing everybody up around them. I’m gonna be bringing the juice every practice, every game, I’m gonna be violent so I’m gonna set the tone with my physicality every single game and I think that’s huge being able to bring the juice and being able to set the example as well.”
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Chenal Was Simms LB#3 in the Class
NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms has become famous for his accurate pre-draft positional rankings and he had Chenal third for all linebackers in 2022 behind Quay Walker and Devin Lloyd.
“Why aren’t more people talking about this f****** guy?” Simms asked on his podcast, “Chris Simms Unbuttoned.”
“Dude’s physical in all areas,” he reasoned, “there’s no hesitation, natural taking on blockers, can stand them up, can disengage, find the football… he’s totally capable of being a three-down linebacker.”
Simms added that Chenal is the “most natural linebacker in the draft” and “up there as the most physically gifted.”
The respected analyst settled on a “more athletic Demario Davis” for his final NFL comparison. “People gotta start giving this damn guy some respect,” Simms stated, tweeting that his drop was “everyone’s loss and the Chiefs’ gain.”