Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach (virtually) conducted his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday.
Here are my biggest takeaways from what he had to say about the upcoming NFL Draft.
“It would be unlikely that we would try to make a big bold move up there — but [I] wouldn’t want to rule it out.”
Considering the team’s lack of draft capital, it’s comforting to hear that that Veach’s aggressive tendencies will likely be kept at bay. With only five picks, moving up in the draft reduces your already-depleted assets. The Chiefs have several positions in which they should make some kind of investment — at minimum a lottery ticket like a day-three pick. Giving yourself more than three or four chances is important — especially in a deep draft class like this.
“I think there are going to be a lot of players that maybe the public didn’t think would be there late [in the] first round. That will be good for us from [both a] draft perspective and potential trade-down perspective.”
For me, this Veach’s money quote — and why he should be patient on draft night. He shouldn’t dismiss the idea of a team coveting a player available at 32 and being aggressive to come up for the Chiefs’ pick. Trading out when there are good players on the board doesn’t mean the Chiefs are simply passing on good players. Instead, it means they feel comfortable with whom they’ll be able to acquire after a trade back. Should the Chiefs move back into the late 30s they can acquire an extra top 100-ish selection — and will still be able to grab a quality player.
“[In] the linebacking corps, there’s a lot of intriguing prospects. There’s a lot of good athletes, a lot of guys that can really make a difference in space in the coverage game early on.”
The best coverage linebackers are the ones going in the first two rounds. In my oponion, Veach’s comment is largely directed towards the top 60-70 picks. From the high-end players on that list (like LSU’s Patrick Queen) to the mid-day two prospects (like Wyoming’s Logan Wilson), there are some players on Thursday and Friday that can improve the coverage ability of Kansas City’s linebacker group. I would not be surprised to see the Chiefs grab a linebacker in that range.
“I think the offensive line is a group that is pretty good. I think we’re really excited about the depth of the offensive line — really rounds one through four.”
It’s fascinating that Veach lists offensive line depth all the way out to the fourth round. Perhaps they are taking a flexible approach to when and where they address offensive line — which we all expect they do in some capacity.
“[At] Receiver, [there] seems like there’s depth throughout the draft.”
If the Chiefs can get an extra pick in a trade back, it gives them the ultimate flexibility to get great value in a very deep wide receiver class. While we all expect the Chiefs to address cornerback, offensive line and linebacker, the Chiefs cannot leave this draft without grabbing a wide receiver. An extra pick — and the ability to pinpoint great value at wide receiver — will allow them to do just that.
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