After the conclusion of this past weekend’s NFL Draft, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach took to the podium on Monday to discuss various topics.
Among them was fourth-round selection Chamarri Conner, a five-year safety out of Virginia Tech whom Veach praised his versatility as he described his fit on the team.
“He’s a guy that can play free safety, he can play down low at the strong safety position [and] he also has some big nickel flex,” Veach told reporters over Zoom. “I think he’s a guy that can come down into the box and cover some athletic tight ends. I mean, he’s a big kid, [he’s] really smart. You’re talking about a two-to-three-year captain there (at Virginia Tech). [He] does everything the right way. We were just really excited to add him.”
The Chiefs were aggressive in their pursuit of Conner in the draft.
Veach felt Conner could have easily been selected right after their pick in the third round. So, when they saw him falling to the fourth round, the Chiefs pounced on the opportunity, trading away their fourth-round pick and a future fifth to move up 15 spots and grab their guy.
“Conner was a guy that, I mean, we — (laughs) it was right there with him and Wanya in the third round,” Veach noted. “I was talking to his agent today and just congratulating him and the values are right there. Then when we had a chance — this goes about being selectively aggressive — and then we selected Wanya and it could’ve easily been the Virginia Tech safety. Then we get back in round four and we’re sitting there and once you get into that window where this makes sense for us and he’s going to be gone pretty soon, we went up there to get him.”
With the departure of safety Juan Thornhill (who signed with the Cleveland Browns this past offseason), Conner adds another player to a young Chiefs defensive backfield alongside the free-agent safety acquisition of Mike Edwards.
The unit had its fair share of struggles at the start of last season but came through with huge plays towards the end — largely thanks to its rookie class. In Veach’s eyes, Conner’s versatility gives him the opportunity to have a similar impact on the team as he begins his rookie season with the Chiefs.
“Why you like this kid is because he’s extremely versatile,” Veach said. “He’s long, he’s athletic and he ran a 4.4 at the combine. He has some free and safety flex. [He] should be a great special teams contributor Day 1, and at the same time I also think there’s some nickel flex, some big nickel flex, to match up with some of these athletic tight ends that these teams have throughout the league.”