“He was a guy that we obviously liked coming out.” - Brett Veach on Reggie Ragland
Chiefs GM Brett Veach said something similar about Cameron Erving when they acquired him. You’re going to hear something in the same vein about Kendall Fuller around March 14th when the Alex Smith for the aforementioned Fuller and 2018 third round pick is finalized.
Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett is projected to go in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was born on November 29th, 1994.
Kendall Fuller was Pro Football Focus’ sixth rated corner this season. He was born February 13th, 1995.
This article has been sitting around in my head for quite some time. The Chiefs most recent move has set me out to finally write it.
Brett Veach’s work in his short tenure as GM of the Chiefs has impressed me. It’s not just about acquiring Reggie Ragland for a 2019 fourth round pick and it working out. It’s not trading DJ Alexander for a better fitting Kevin Pierre-Louis, or take a shot at developing Cameron Erving. It’s not the fact that the Chiefs just fleeced Washington for third round pick and player that would have been taken in round one this year.
Those are the byproduct.
Veach has a plan. All NFL GMs do, yes, but the subtleties he’s revealed about his have me as excited as I’ve ever been about the future of the organization.
Former Chiefs GM John Dorsey had his flaws. Those flaws ultimately led to his ending in KC. We heard about communication breakdowns, contract mismanagement, people mismanagement. All probably had some truth. The salary cap situation certainly doesn’t reflect something particularly organized.
Veach has been lauded for his talent evaluation. But talent evaluation is what John Dorsey excelled at and still was let go. Veach had to have something beyond that to be the next man up. We’re starting to see glimpses of why he was picked. It’s not just that he and Andy Reid have a good relationship, although that is certainly part of it.
The quotes from Veach about previous player acquisitions were the signs of a man with absolute belief in himself and his staff. He told the entire organization that they weren’t wrong on their belief in the likes of Ragland and Erving through the draft process. They just weren’t used right elsewhere or developed properly. He’s betting on his people and the process they’ve created as a unit to build an organization. In fact, he’s all in.
If your process and people are good, it’s the best way to find talent. The Ragland move certainly was worth the investment and then some. The Erving trade remains to be seen, but the cost was slight to get a guy they believed in coming out.
These are smart, measured moves that also create synergy within an organization. Trust is being built, and the organization is being built on trust. What may have been slightly fractured and disorganized a year ago, is showing signs of growth and innovation. There seems to be an obvious culture developing. Read the excellent piece by BJ Kissel and tell me Veach is not building a strong organization.
There’s plenty of cap issues that still need to be resolved. There’s still holes on the roster. The move on Tuesday though somehow solved problems of today and the future. The Chiefs saved a large sum of money, acquired draft capital and got better on defense.
I anticipate we’ll continue seeing creativity this off season and moving forward. Veach is just getting started, but there’s hints of a dynamic, different, smart way of doing things.
The moves so far show an obvious trend in how things are going to be done in Kansas City. Unwavering belief in your people and your process.