Like a high school debate team event, we thought it would be fun to do a “point-counterpoint” piece on a recent discussion we had.
Kent’s point: The draft is about accumulating assets and finding value.
Matt’s counterpoint: Value is a fan/media construct that only matters on draft day. Brett Veach doesn’t care at all about draft value. He wants good players that help the team. He wants to get his guys, value/reach be damned. If he’s right, and the players make the team better, the fact that the Chiefs took them “too early” is irrelevant.
Kent’s counter: That’s a good argument. I think my counter to that is something in the vein of they can make that bed if they would like, and I hope they’re right, but he’s judged off these picks. If players like Breeland Speaks and Derrick Nnadi do turn out to have more narrow skill sets and can’t make an impact beyond a niche role, they’ve passed on some bigger talents to identify niches. I do agree with some of your framework. Value is often a media construct if you haven’t watched the guys. Based on what I’ve seen from Speaks specifically, I’m still struggling with the value I believe they got.
Matt: You’ve certainly watched the film, Kent. Brett Veach is nothing if not confident in his scouting ability, so he’ll go down with the ship if he’s wrong on Speaks, Cam Erving, Marcus Peters, Patrick Mahomes. (I don’t think he was wrong, especially on Mahomes)
Kent: I understand the why of what Veach did at this point. And the sum of the parts on defense is solid. I think they targeted complementary roles mostly. Didn’t see a need to shoot for another star. And maybe they think Speaks is a star, I just think that’s a big projection.
Matt: I do think every team has a shopping list to fill with specific roles, skill sets, etc. How they go about filling them is where the art of pockets and knowing how other teams evaluate guys comes in. I love the focus on attitude, though. Veach been decisive and pointed in his evaluations.
Kent: I do too. I am curious to see if this draft was a course correction across the board or a one-time push to make some adjustments to the locker room/fill needs. Next year’s draft is going to be interesting. Are they boxed into narrow traits or do they look to make a splash?
Matt: On Breeland Speaks, interior pass rush was my No. 1 need, so the pick makes sense. I also think, as much as we all wanted a corner early, the depth was better at that position, there weren’t as many pass rushers in the draft class.
Kent: But is he going to be an interior player? Felt like they wanted him focused on playing EDGE.
Matt: EDGE for sure, at first. I’m hopeful that he does his best work inside on passing downs, sets the edge on early downs.
Kent: I think he can set a hard edge for sure. I thought he did his best work in rush outside, too, though.
Matt: I love how he uses his hands, too. Hopefully, this is the next big trend in the league, giant EDGE players that can hold up against the run and slide inside for crazy pressure packages with guys like Justin Houston and (to a lesser extent) Dee Ford outside of them.
Kent: Conceptually, I like it a lot. I just hope he can produce. My confidence level isn’t as high. But if he sets a good edge and provides a little juice, that could help out for sure.