The Chiefs did manage to trade up three times in the 2023 NFL draft. They moved up to 55 for WR Rashee Rice, 92 for OT Wany Morris and 119 for DB Chamarri Conner. Veach explained the thought process behind being aggressive and moving up for your guys vs. standing pat on other occasions.
“Yeah, it’s just identifying the board,” Veach said. “You know, it’s one of those things where we’re spending a ton of time on this board. We’re spending countless numbers of hours and we do that because you know this is the process and when we identify talent we’re able to look at that board and know that alright when we’re in a certain range, we really like this guy and if you look below this guy there’s a big drop off. When we get aggressive it’s because we spend all the time watching these guys and we feel like the drop-off or potentially they’re not – I mean he could be the last guy that we value in regards to a guy coming in and helping us year one.
“So, when you identify that you’ve got to trust your board and trust all the work that you’ve put in. It’s kind of blending the two concepts. On one end yeah, you have to – there is that lotto aspect where you have to throw a bunch of numbers at this but at the same time we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t set the board (and) spend all that time doing the work and if we believe in a guy you can’t risk losing those guys. There’s a handful of guys this past weekend that we were trying to trade up for and it didn’t work out and they went. That’s the way this works. You’ve got to believe in your board, you’ve got to believe in your scouts. You have to do so – you can’t be reckless. You’ve got to take calculated risks. I think you saw that. We took a stab to get up there in Round 1, we couldn’t and so we played it smart. Then when we have windows of guys that we just didn’t think there were like components of or similar value we went ahead and made those moves and then when we were sitting in a position where we felt the competition or the value or I should say the skillset was all similar, we traded out of that one pick and we got a future pick from Dallas so I think it’s blending the volume concept and also the belief in the board and just go and getting guys you like.”
It’s a bit of a balancing act between throwing as many darts as possible, but also staying true to the work, research and effort that has been put into the process. At the end of the day, they’re going to trust the evaluations and work they’ve done that they’re bringing home the best possible players at the best possible value.