Ryan Poles hire gives Chiefs greater draft flexibility in future years
By Matt Conner
When the Chicago Bears hired Ryan Poles to be the team’s new general manager earlier this week, they were hoping to have solidified an exciting new direction toward sustained success that has marked the franchise from which Poles came from after 13 years with the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the Chiefs will undoubtedly miss Poles in the front office and the perspective and acumen he brings, they’re also benefitting from an NFL rule that compensates that loss with multiple mid-round picks in future NFL Drafts. For the Chiefs, the loss of Poles actually provides much greater draft flexibility for the team going forward into crucial years.
The league will award the Chiefs two third-round compensatory picks for losing Poles—which is one apiece in the 2022 and 2023 NFL Drafts. Given the position, it gives the Chiefs an extra pick in the top 100 prospects for each year, giving an already dominant team a real edge going forward.
When the Chicago Bears hired Ryan Poles to be their next general manager, they gave the Chiefs quite a bit more flexibility in the draft.
Consider this: general manager Brett Veach is already quite familiar with trading away his top draft pick in each draft. While a lot of Chiefs KIngdom would love to see the Chiefs stay in the first, at least on occasion, and secure a long-term talent on a cheaper deal, the truth is that such picks aren’t guaranteed to be a hit and Veach seems to like grabbing a sure thing at a position of need.
Heading into the future, having an extra pick in the third round not only helps replace a potentially higher pick that could be traded away for reliable assets but they could also play a part in those very trades. Imagine if the difference between the Chiefs or another winning the sweepstakes for a major player on the trade block becomes that extra third-round pick, Veach now has an arsenal of extra picks to use in case he needs to be aggressive.
On the flip side, Veach could also feel quite enamored with more picks in the top 100 of each of the next two drafts since he’s become quite good at cutting through the noise to land exciting young prospects. This year’s rookie crop featured three instant starters and potentially more future contributors. Giving the Chiefs two more third-round picks in that span should at least yield part-time contributors in key roles on cost-controlled deals.
Brett Veach has proven himself as an excellent judge of talent in terms of draftable talent. Yet he’s also learned so much about how to finesse a deal with other general managers to the benefit of the Chiefs. Two extra picks will give him the ultimate freedom to approach each of the next two drafts in the way that he wants, so while it hurts to lose a talented exec like Poles, the Chiefs have to like the return in this way.