With the NFL Draft just two weeks away, NFL.com analyst Gregg Rosenthal has published an interesting exercise: a power ranking of NFL general managers that is based solely on their draft results.
Rosenthal based his rankings only on drafts from 2015 through 2020 — and excluded nine GMs who have just one draft on their resume.
In his estimation, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach ranked 10th.
10. Brett Veach • Chiefs
Best pick: Patrick Mahomes • Round 1 (No. 10) • 2017
Worst pick: Breeland Speaks • Round 2 (No. 46) • 2018
Veach was difficult to rank in this exercise. Patrick Mahomes could prove to be the biggest franchise-changing pick in NFL history, and the Chiefs traded up to get him. They could be No. 1 just for that! Then again, only two of the other 23 draft picks since Mahomes was taken have started at least 25 games: Derrick Nnadi and Kareem Hunt. The team has done a fine job finding role players like Rashad Fenton, Mecole Hardman and L’Jarius Sneed, but Veach needs to start drafting more starters or the talent pool could run dry.
Of course, previous Chiefs GM John Dorsey was still in charge during the 2017 draft in which Mahomes was selected; he was fired that June. Rosenthal, however, still credits Veach — who is understood to be the guy who pounded the table for the former Texas Tech quarterback. Arguments about which of them deserves the ultimate acclaim for the selection will continue — but there’s little doubt that Veach deserves at least some of it.
It’s possible to find fault with Rosenthal’s characterization of Sneed as a “role player” — although strictly on the basis of what he did on the field in 2020, that’s not exactly wrong, either.
And considering that Veach didn’t make a first-round selection until his third draft, it might be a bit harsh to criticize him for not “finding more starters” there. Still, the reason Veach didn’t have a first-round pick in 2019 — because it had been traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Frank Clark — was entirely within his control. So this just ends up demonstrating how difficult it is to evaluate a GM’s draft skills separately from the rest of their responsibilities.
The most interesting thing about this ranking might be its outsider’s viewpoint. Among Chiefs fans, conversations about Veach’s draft acumen tend to be all or nothing: he’s either a genius or a fool. Being ranked 10th among 23 says something else: that’s he’s somewhere in the middle. Average may be nothing to write home about, but it’s better than being ranked dead last — where Rosenthal placed the Las Vegas Raiders’ Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock.
What do you think of Rosenthal’s No. 10 ranking for Brett Veach?
This poll is closed
Veach deserves a better ranking.
Veach deserves a worse ranking.
Rosenthal got it just right.