Chiefs sign Mizzou’s Nick Bolton, trade for cornerback

Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have traded Thursday for Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes, multiple reports say.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report on the trade; reports say the Chiefs will get Hughes and the Vikings’ 2022 seventh-round pick in exchange for their 2022 sixth-round pick.

The Vikings drafted Hughes as the 30th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Over the past three seasons, he’s played in 24 games with seven starts. That’s largely due to several injuries: a torn ACL in his rookie season, a cracked vertebra at the end of the 2019 season, and a neck injury in 2020.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – NOVEMBER 03: Mike Hughes #21 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 03, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Reports from earlier this year indicate he’s fully healthy, but it’s clear the Chiefs are taking a chance on an injury-plagued cornerback. The Vikings declined to exercise the fifth-year option in Hughes’ contract, meaning he will be a free agent after this season.

More Chiefs moves

The Chiefs also signed all six of their draft picks on Thursday.

Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton, Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey, Florida State pass rusher Joshua Kaindoh, Duke tight end Noah Gray, Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell and Tennessee guard Trey Smith are all officially members of Chiefs Kingdom.

After trading their first-round choice in a deal that landed two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown from Baltimore, the Chiefs used their modest number of draft picks to address some big holes.

Bolton is a plug-and-play middle linebacker with whom the Chiefs were intimately familiar given his starring role just down Interstate 70 at Missouri. The Chiefs lost Damien Wilson to the Jaguars in free agency, creating a hole in the middle of their defense, but had already been hoping to get more athletic at that position.

Humphrey was widely considered the best center available yet fell into the late second round. That allowed the Chiefs to add him to their complete overhaul of the offensive line.

The Chiefs also were desperate to improve an inconsistent pass rush. They did that by landing Kaindoh, who slipped to the fourth round largely because of his injury history, but whose athletic traits give him plenty of upside.

The Chiefs have struggled to find a reliable second tight end behind Travis Kelce the past few years, and Gray is an athletic pass-catching threat that should giving Patrick Mahomes another downfield target.

Later in the fifth round, the Chiefs took Powell as depth behind Tyreek Hill and Co., then added one more offensive lineman to the meeting room with Smith.

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