General manager Brett Veach discussed why Kansas City kept the final draft selection of opening night.
The reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs selected edge-rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah with the 31st — and final — selection in Round 1 of NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old Lee’s Summit native (at State of Kansas product) should immediately find a role on defense, taking over some of the snaps left open by the departures of veteran defensive ends Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap.
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Speaking late Thursday night, however, general manager Brett Veach confirmed that the Chiefs have explored trading up — especially since the draft’s entire wide receiver class is available up to the 20th pick. But starting from Seattle Seahawks choice State of OhioJaxon Smith-Ngigba’s Jaxon Smith-Ngigba, picked off the wideouts with four consecutive picks — leaving the Chiefs on the outside looking for pass-catchers.
Veach wasn’t surprised that a trade fell through.
“The run is there with the wideouts,” Veach confirmed. “We got out in front of that, though — and I think we kind of know where the market is. Obviously, there are some teams that are above the AFC teams — and they’re not interested in talking to us and doing business with us. .
Ultimately, the Chiefs aren’t willing to pay that much to move up a position.
“After you get locked out of there,” Veach explained, “[and] can’t trade, then comes to, ‘Well, we’ll do it — but the asking price will be equal more than what you think.’ So [it’s] it’s just one of those things where you have to stay disciplined — and know that the goal is to fill out a deep, talented roster.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid praised his counterpart’s patience — and overall roster development.
“I thought Brett did a good job of staying disciplined with what the board was showing him,” Reid said, “and not going to a place of absolute need. So some of that was because we didn’t have there are many of them [needs].”
Veach identified defensive end as a position he wanted to address.
“Just looking at our roster,” Veach admitted, “there are check boxes that we want to address throughout the weekend — whether it’s defensive end or a skill position or offensive line or what have you. we just left one of those premium positions right away… When we were sitting there at 31, [Anudike-Uzomah] is the leading person on the board. [He] made that decision easy.”
While the Chiefs didn’t find an opportunity to move up, they could have traded down from the pick. The Chiefs brass considered it, but chose to stay and take the player they wanted.
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“We felt good enough in the first round to take him,” Reid said of his newest player, “and we didn’t trade ourselves up in the first round — which we had opportunities to do. But we felt like we stay there and take him.
Agreeing, Veach laid out what a trade-down would look like.
“[Anudike-Uzomah] was the top guy,” he recalled. “And we did have some calls — I think Coach mentioned that. This is a situation, however, when you have a guy who is clearly the top guy left. Then the calls we had were talking in the mid 40s. It’s a long way off — and then you just trade those picks to try and get a guy like Felix.
“So we thought, ‘Let’s stop being cute here. There is a man we like [at a] position of need. Let’s go ahead and shop.’
“[I’m] We’re definitely glad.”