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NFL Draft Results: Chiefs select Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal at No. 103

Kansas City adds to the linebacker group with their only third-round pick.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Wisconsin at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal at pick No. 103 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

6 feet 3 | 250 lbs. | Wisconsin

Grantsburg, Wisconsin

Background: Chenal grew up in Wisconsin as one of 16 children. He was a running back and linebacker in high school and eventually earned the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year award as a senior. He was also a first-team All-American at both running back and linebacker.

As a three-star recruit, Chenal committed to Wisconsin and enrolled early. He only stayed three years but racked up 178 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles.

Strengths: Chenal will come downhill and play the run very well from an off-ball linebacker position. He reads the box very quickly, pairing good eyes with an aggressive mindset that makes him one of the best run defenders in this linebacker class. He really didn’t miss a lot of tackles. He is an athletic freak, too: he scored a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score — including a 40.5-inch vertical and 34 bench press repetitions.

He will be a player that can come closer to the line of scrimmage and handle being blocked by offensive linemen — and also give you some juice as a pass rusher based solely on that explosive combination of strength and athleticism.

Weaknesses: Chenal won’t be someone to send into man coverage or carry a vertical receiver up the middle of the field. Without impressive change-of-direction skills or sideline-to-sideline range, he will be a downhill player.

How he fits with the Chiefs: Chenal will come in and be the third linebacker along with Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton in the base formations. Chenal will play the SAM, giving them the ability to defend the run — but sometimes rush off the edge in certain packages. He will be a great special teams player right away, but he should be a very competent linebacker — even if playing the traditional MIKE position. It makes the linebacker position one of the team’s strongest positions — and maybe even one of the best groups in the league.

Chiefs Draft Picks (10)

  • First round (21st): Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie
  • First round (30th): Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis
  • Second round (54th — from Patriots): Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore
  • Second round (62nd): Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook
  • Third round (103rd — special comp pick): Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal
  • Fourth round (135th): Fayetteville State cornerback Joshua Williams
  • Fifth round (145th): Kentucky tackle Darian Kinnard
  • Seventh round (243rd): Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson
  • Seventh round (251st): Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco
  • Seventh round (259th): Marshall safety Nazeeh Johnson

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