Rice adds a big body to the receiver room that the Chiefs lost when JuJu Smith-Schuster signed with the New England Patriots in free agency. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach denies, however, that he sought out a specific type, reiterating that his priority is always putting talent around head coach Andy Reid, regardless of playing style.
“We take a little of everything in the account,” he said on Monday of the move to acquire Rice. “I think at the end of the day, we’re just trying to add talent to the roster at all these positions. I think the cool thing about Coach is he’s going to highlight their skillset and get the most of them.
“I think that’s the value in staying true to the board. Let’s find a guy we like — let’s tier them, let’s staff them, let’s stay true to the board. Let’s good players here, and then allow Coach and his offensive staff to do their thing and just put these guys in the best position possible to utilize their skill set.”
Veach is excited to see not only this year’s second-round receiver in Rice — but also Skyy Moore, the 54th overall in last year’s Draft. In addition, 2021 New York Giants first-round selection Kadarius Toney, acquired by Kansas City at last year’s trade deadline, should be ready to take on a heavier role after a full offseason with the team.
“I think all three of those guys are extremely talented [and] versatile,” Veach observed of the group. “These are guys that you can do some different things with. I’m certainly excited to add Rashee to this mix. He’s a guy that the contested catch and the run after the catch was something that stood out. We did lose JuJu — and I think it makes sense to find a guy who can do a lot of things he can do on the inside game. He’s almost like a running back after the catch.
“Skyy has done a tremendous job of getting better and improving. We saw that throughout the course of last year. He went through a lot of adversity — but the kid, his mental resiliency is awesome. You look forward for him to take the next step.
“Everyone knows about Kadarius and how talented he is. Kadarius can do anything on the field. He can line up inside, outside, running back, quarterback — he can do it all. He was a quarterback back in his day.”
Veach trusts Reid to plan the best way to use the trio.
“We just like to put talent out on the field,” he stated. “And coach [Reid] will find way to put these guys in different positions, different formations, and different sets. You throw that group in there with the bunch of talent we have at tight end. I let the coaches do their thing, but all three of those guys, we’re really excited about.”
Rice appears set to replace Smith-Schuster — thus filling out the position group. Veach will continue, however, to monitor available talent at all levels.
“We’re always trying improve this roster,” he declared, “and we’ll continue to monitor the names that are on the streets. There will be a handful of guys that have rookie minicamp invites. We’ll get a list of those names. If we can improve the 90th person on our roster — we’ll do that.”