Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton fixes his mouthpiece (copy)

Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton fixes his mouthpiece on the sideline on Oct. 12, 2019, as Missouri takes on Ole Miss at Memorial Stadium. Bolton was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday.

It took a little longer than expected, but former Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton was picked in Round 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft — and it isn’t going to take him long to travel to his new team.

His destination: Kansas City.

“All the hard work I put in to get to this position, working day in, day out, trying to get myself in a position to get my name called at an NFL Draft, it’s been a dream of mine since I was 4 or 5 years old,” Bolton said on a Zoom call after the selection was announced.

The two-time first-team All-SEC linebacker is set to stay in the Show-Me State after the defending AFC champion Chiefs selected him with the 58th overall pick in Cleveland.

“Being in that community, being around close the University of Missouri, that’s kind of dear to my heart,” Bolton said. “Being close to Missouri and playing for the Chiefs is a dream come true.”

The Chiefs used their first of two second-round picks in this year’s draft on the linebacker, who amassed four sacks, 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 224 total tackles for Missouri in 35 career games.

“What you’re going to get with (Bolton) is an all-out, aggressive, smart football player,” Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, per a tweet from St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Dave Matter. “Not the biggest guy but very, very tough.”

The Frisco, Texas, native was widely expected to go early in the second round. Some mock drafts had him being scooped early in the first. In the end, seven linebackers were drafted ahead of the former Tiger.

Five linebackers went in the first round, and two others were selected ahead of Bolton in Round 2, including Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari.

This is the 17th consecutive season a player from Missouri has been selected in the NFL Draft. The last Tiger to go in the second round was Drew Lock, who was picked at No. 47 by the Denver Broncos in 2019.

  • Assistant sports editor for Spring 2021. Reach me at mcandrewcalum@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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