Brett Veach addressed the media on Thursday to discuss how the changes in the draft impact the Chiefs, draft strategy, and the Chris Jones extension.
Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach addressed the media via Zoom Thursday morning from his home office/bunker to discuss the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, how the virtual nature of it changes things for the Chiefs, and looming extensions for stars Chris Jones and Patrick Mahomes.
Veach discussed Chiefs strategy (vaguely, of course) headed in to the draft. He indicated the team has a shorter draft board than usual. In part this is due to their draft position, and in part it’s due to the virtual nature of the meetings.
The Chiefs will be focused on long term prospects, and not looking to necessarily find immediate starters for the 2020 season. Veach indicated the goal is to build for 5-10 years, not for one to two:
To that end, Veach indicated that while the team is unlikely to make a big move up the board, he is not opposed to moving down in the draft and out of the first round all together:
Not that anyone will be surprised, but Veach indicated that he would be willing to field calls about trading down in the draft:
Veach went on to say that he believes there will be a handful of prospects available at 32 that not only could help the Chiefs, but also that will surprise the public. He asserted that he was excited to see how the wide receivers and offensive linemen shook out in the draft, noting they were the deepest position groups in the draft.
What these comments tell us about the Chiefs’ approach to the draft is essentially what we expected: they’re preparing for mass departures after the 2020 season. They’re likely targeting best player available over a focus on positional needs, and they will likely look offensive line and wide receivers as places of depth—perhaps signaling late round targets at these positions rather than early.
On the draft being held virtually…
Veach indicated that the preparation process has been smooth and that the Chiefs have experienced few technical difficulties in their meetings and draft sessions.
But that does not mean that the Super Bowl Champion general manager is free of concerns. Veach noted that trades and being on the clock could be a concern in a virtual format:
The takeaway here is that while many general managers are concerned about the format, time is the biggest issue. These are creatures of habit with vast experience doing things their way, and now it’s all different. This could have the biggest implications for Veach, who loves to move around in the draft.
On Patrick Mahomes…
On the question of signing starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term extension, Veach indicated that patience is required, but that a deal is inevitable:
No news here. Mahomes will get a record extension and get whatever he wants in his new deal. It is not a question of if, but when and how much. Earlier on Thursday, Spotrac released some projections for various quarterback extensions looming and guessed that Mahomes would earn $130 million guaranteed on a new four-year deal.
On Chris Jones…
Veach did go in to the Chris Jones negotations a bit. Without being specific, Veach said the plan is still to keep the franchise-tagged defensive tackle in Kansas City long term. He also said that there is no rush to get a deal done before the 2020 NFL Draft next week.
While Veach did not absolutely rule out trading Chris Jones before or during the draft, there have certainly been no indications from the team that trading their star defender is in the plans for the defending Super Bowl Champions.