On the second day of the NFL Draft, the first Wisconsin Badgers player was picked as LB Leo Chenal was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 103 overall pick in the third round. The 6-foot-3 and 250 pound junior out of Grantsburg entered the draft early after being named the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year last season.
Chenal had 115 tackles (18.5 tackles for loss), eight sacks and two forced fumbles last season, despite missing the first two games of the season with COVID-19, while being named a second team All-American at inside linebacker.
Our Owen Riese had this to say about Chenal ahead of the draft:
Summary: Chenal is an interesting case study. He’s a big, athletic, explosive linebacker who is a freak specimen, but his projection is a bit unique. He was very disruptive in Madison at the line of scrimmage, but wasn’t asked to do much that he wouldn’t succeed at. Chenal is very enticing, but could fit in a very niche role, which could limit his scope to some teams.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein compared Chenal to former USC and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga and also to a “cinder block” which is extremely accurate. The Chiefs don’t have a ton of depth at linebacker currently, so Chenal could have a chance to make an instant impact with them.