The Chiefs draft class were among the Chiefs big contributors on Thursday.
As soon as the 2020 NFL Draft was in the books, even whilst still signing undrafted rookie free agents to the class, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach was being celebrated for a savvy, impactful class of rookies.
The interesting question was: with so many of the defending Super Bowl Champions returning for the “run it back” season, would any of them be able to make an immediate impact for the squad?
The praise continued throughout the summer and training camp as the Chiefs, and every media outlet who covered Kansas City’s practices, continued to heap praise on the newest crop of rookies at Arrowhead. The team, too, continuously talked up the youngsters and yet there was always some reservation about the true impact we may see from them in 2020.
On Thursday night, soon after the new championship banner was raised, we got our answer against the Houston Texans. Let’s review how the 2020 Chiefs rookie class fared in the season opener.
You’ll remember that Veach gave up a 2021 sixth round pick to jump back into the seventh round of the 2020 draft to take cornerback BoPete Keyes. All indications at the time were that he was in high demand, and would not have made it to the UDFA pool. Despite the fanfare, Keyes was among the Chiefs inactives on Thursday night.
Offensive lineman Yasir Durant joined Kansas City as a UDFA and was a bit of a surprise on the final 53-man roster. Intuitively, then, it was not much of a surprise that he was inactive for the Week One matchup.
Lucas Niang (COVID-19)
The Chiefs had three players opt out of the season due to COVID concerns and one of them was third round draft pick Lucas Niang. Obviously, since he’s not on the active roster, he did not contribute in the victory over the Houston Texans.