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NFL Draft results: Chiefs select Mississippi State LB Willie Gay at No. 63

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The Chiefs take Willie Gay out of Mississippi State with their second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Kentucky v Mississippi State Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Mississippi State Linebacker Willie Gay at pick No. 63 overall in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs are still schedule to pick one more time on Friday night, at No. 96 overall in the third round.


Willie Gay, Linebacker

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

6’1” | 243 pounds | Mississippi State

Starkville, Mississippi

Combine: 4.51 40-yard dash, 39.5” vertical jump, 136” broad jump, 21 bench press, 7.08 3-cone drill

2019 stats: 28 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup, 1 forced fumble

Gay has excellent range, body control and lateral mobility to slip blocks while working to the ball carrier. When attacking downhill, his burst is exceptional, making him a very successful blitzer. Gay is a big hitter who can lay the wood and pop the ball loose from secure ball carriers. He doesn’t let up as the game progresses, finishing with the same intensity as he starts. This motor shows up when Gay is finishing the play , too; he will keep his legs churning at the goal line to make sure the running back’s extra effort doesn’t put him across the line.

Gay has great reps as a quarterback spy, flashing into the gap to keep the quarterback in the pocket before dropping to rob a crossing route as a hook defender. He is a tone-setting linebacker who can help bring some nastiness to the defensive front.

There are some off-field concerns with Gay. He’s had issues with academics and a physical altercation with a teammate. Those questions were obviously answered through the pre-draft process.

Gay has the size, athletic profile and on-field mentality to be a Steve Spagnuolo linebacker. His ability to navigate blocks and blow up the ball carrier might remind some of another Chiefs great: linebacker Derrick Johnson.


Chiefs Draft Picks

  • First round (32nd): RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU)
  • Second round (63rd): LB Willie Gay (Mississippi State)
  • Third round (96th)
  • Fourth round (138th)
  • Fifth round (177th)