Kansas City Chiefs expects Breeland Speaks, Derrick Nnadi to play immediately


Brett Veach made it clear that he envisions the top two Chiefs rookies selected in the 2018 NFL Draft to be immediate contributors on the field.

Even without a first round choice or a big-name rookie in their draft class, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach made it clear that he expects an immediate impact from the 2018 NFL Draft—at least those selected early on.

The Chiefs traded up to get their first two picks: Ole Miss defensive end Breeland Speaks and Florida State defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. For Speaks, the Chiefs traded down in the third round in order to move up 8 spots in the second round for No. 46 overall. For Nnadi, the Chiefs gave up a fourth round pick to move up to No. 75 from No. 86 in the third round.

It was clear from Veach’s words during and after the draft that both players are expected to help reinvigorate a front seven with toughness, athleticism, stamina and talent. And Veach is clear he wants those traits on the field immediately.

"We think [Speaks] is a guy that can come in and play and help us on all three downs. Derrick Nnadi is a guy that from the first time he stepped on the field at Florida State, he played. I think he started 38 of 39 games, so that guy went from high school right to Florida State. Obviously, this guy will be able to come right in and play for us and help us out."

If this is the case through training camp and into Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, then the Chiefs front line is going to have a very different look for fans. The questions facing Nnadi have to do with playing time on passing downs—namely, can he earn any? For Speaks, the Chiefs have spoke of using him as a heavy edge rusher at outside linebacker, but that’s going to take some seeing to believe. He also has plenty of defensive end experience.

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As for the rest of the roster, Bennie Logan is gone from last year. Chris Jones is the obvious anchor of the unit, but the Chiefs also signed Xavier Williams from the Arizona Cardinals to a 2-year deal this offseason. Allen Bailey remains on the last year of his contract. Rakeem Nunez-Roches was also recently brought back on a one-year tender, and Jarvis Jenkins was re-signed as well.