With Kansas City’s trade to acquire Orlando Brown Jr. from the Baltimore Ravens, Chiefs fans have to wait patiently Thursday night before the Chiefs make any moves.
In his four and a half years as Chiefs general manager, Brett Veach has given up the Chiefs’ first-round pick via trade one other time — for defensive end Frank Clark.
The Chiefs are known to not go according to the script, but with a Super Bowl appearance in the last two years, all eyes are also on what prospects will be picked between the 58 and the 94.
As Kansas City now has six selections in the seven-round draft that kicks off with Round 1 on Thursday, Veach predicts how it will go down.
“I think there will be some depth in the O-line throughout the first three or four rounds, and same with the secondary. It is a little thinner in the defensive line, in particular defensive tackle. I feel like we’re pretty good there, so that’s good for us,” Veach said. “The linebacker isn’t extremely deep. So again, we’ll just have to be patient and disciplined and just look for value. But I think if we just stick to our board, and that’s why teams continually update and revise and tweak that board knowing where they can kind of attack it.”
The Chiefs already addressed their need for an offensive lineman by trading its first-, third- and fourth-round picks for the Brown, but Kansas City won’t be shy in adding to its depth after Patrick Mahomes faced 29 pressures on 52 dropbacks in the Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.
Improving the defense won’t hurt either, and Veach also said he will have his eye on quality players going into the mid-second and early third round.
“So, now where you kind of had some really deep pockets at five and six, they’re really thin now just because a lot of players decided to go back to school and not come out. So, that’s a unique challenge too. So, I think that early-to-mid-three, two, three area is really the hot zone. There is more of a fall off this year just because the numbers are down,” Veach said.
Along with investing in their biggest weakness — the offensive line — the Chiefs are also focusing on adding weaponry for Patrick Mahomes following the departure of Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson.
Plus, Veach said the Chiefs are comfortable with their receiving corps as of now, but they could look for a receiver in the middle rounds to add depth behind Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle, as well as new addition Antonio Callaway.
“I think there’s a mid-round pocket that we’re excited about, so I don’t think that we will be in any rush to do anything at the free agency market because of where we are. We like the four or five guys that we have on a roster. That in combination with what we think will be available during the middle rounds of the draft, I think would be something that we’ll put our priority in,” Veach said.
The 2021 NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 29 and end Saturday, May 1.