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Brett Veach shares thoughts on Chiefs’ pre-draft wide receiver situation

Will Kansas City go wideout with pick No. 31?

NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2023 NFL Draft just one week away, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is evaluating his team’s wide receiver room.

“I think you always are looking to get more talent and get deeper,” Veach told reporters Thursday.

For a second straight season, Veach fielded questions ahead of the draft about who will catch passes from — ahem — now, two-time Super Bowl champion and league MVP Patrick Mahomes.

“We have really good players,” Veach said of Kansas City’s room as it currently sits. “[Marquez Valdes-Scantling] and Skyy [Moore] and [Kadarius] Toney… brought Justin Watson back, Richie James…We can certainly go out there and line up and win games.”

The reigning world champions saw both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman opt for deals elsewhere, leaving behind 103 catches and 1,230 yards of combined 2022 production.

“I’d say the same about the offensive line, the defensive line and the receiver position,” Veach continued. “We’re always looking to get deeper and more athletic, more talented. We’re happy with the guys we have. But like every team in this draft, we can find ways to make our team better.”

Kansas City’s front office has already begun work in the wideout room, reuniting with familiar face Justin Watson on a two-year agreement and signing former New York Giant Richie James, who Veach says the team has been eyeing for a while.

“Always liked [James]. I think he’s a versatile guy,” Veach admitted, adding he expects the 5-foot-9 speedster to contribute as a punt returner. “A few years ago, there was a trading deadline period when he was at the [San Francisco 49ers]… I think we actually tried to trade for him. One of those, you know, waiver wire cut deals.”

Though a deal did not materialize then, James lands in Kansas City as another “Swiss army knife” player in the Mahomes-led offense alongside another former New Yorker Giant in Kadarius Toney.

“We have a lot of high hopes for him,” said the team’s general manager, doubling down on the organization’s commitment to the third-year wideout out of the University of Florida. “He was a first-round pick for a reason. There’s a reason why we traded for him, and we felt like he was a first-round talent.”

Veach praised Toney’s athletic ability and mental approach to the game while recognizing his troubled injury history.

“I think if he stays healthy and continues to just build that chemistry with the coaching staff and with Pat…the sky’s the limit for him,” finished Veach.

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