CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID
*Opening Statement: *“We’re very excited to announce Breeland Speaks from Mississippi. Outside linebacker, defensive end, wherever we choose to play him there. Most likely it’ll be outside linebacker to start with in a rush position on third‐down in defensive end. I think what we’re getting here is a high motor, very intense player. Love his core strength, his ability to play the run and the pass. He’s kind of done a little bit of everything for Mississippi. So we look forward to adding him into our rotation there and on the defensive front.”
*Q: *Was getting a guy like him, playing defensive end, outside linebacker and do things against the run and pass, was that a big hole you were trying to fill?
*REID: *“I’m not going to say it was a hole as much as it was the best player that we felt was there. Somebody that we wanted to add into that mix with Tamba (Hali) leaving here, so we just feel good about that.”
*Q: *What made you jump up?
*REID: *“We like the player – it was pretty simple. So Brett (Veach) has a pretty good feel on needs of other clubs or wants of other clubs. He made the move and went and got him.”
*Q: *Do you remember when you first started talking about Breeland Speaks?
*REID: *“So Brett (Veach) has a tendency to do this, I’ve been around him now for a couple years and he has a tendency that when he likes somebody to wear me out with that guy. So he’s done it with some pretty good players. I can always tell by how much he likes somebody because he’s going to let me know. So I’ve watched every game that the kid played. I can’t tell you that I’ve done that with every player, that’s not what I’m doing. But he gives me a heads up on who to look at. This was one where he and I sat together and watched every snap. The thing that amazes me about him and you guys will go through and look at the tape yourself and have a chance to see him play, he was never on the ground. The way he used his hands, that combination of things. I thought was really something. Brett did all the studies on it, comparisons to people. So similar to Tamba (Hali) in his measurements, testing, all of these things. (Terrell) Suggs, (Calvin) Pace – these are guys that either Bob (Sutton) or Mike (Smith) have coached. He kind of fits right into that mold right there.”
*Q: *Does he strike you as somebody that could get after it quickly in getting playing time or more developmental?
*REID: *“So we tried to exhaust our time with him and we brought him up here where we could spend time, an extended amount of time with him. He picks it up so easy. He’s a smart kid. We thought he handled everything very well.”
*Q: *At what point in the draft process did you decide he was the guy you wanted to have?
*REID: *“Brett (Veach) has had his eye on him, I’m just the communicator right now. But that’s about it, I’m just relaying things to you. He’s had his eye on him all along and targeted him. He was going to go after him aggressively and that’s kind of how he rolls. You’ve seen him operate, this little bit here, this offseason. That’s his nature.”
*Q: *What can you say about (Breeland) Speaks’ football character?
*REID: *“I had a chance to talk to his coach – he’s a good kid, hard, hard worker. That was another thing, I never saw him take a play off and he played a lot. In college these kids are on these rotations where they might make it through 50 percent of the snaps, but if you put on tape you’re going to see this kid play. He’s on the field. He chases everything, he’s relentless. I’ve asked the question, does he do that during practice. Our scouts have seen him practice and they said he did. I talked to the coach and the coach said he did. So I appreciate that, I hope he transfers that over to us.”
*Q: *Do you see him being able to contribute immediately on third‐downs?
*REID: *“I think he’ll get in and compete on the rotation, I would hope. That’s the plan there – get him in and see how he does. But you hope he can rotate in there and go.”
*Q: *Brett Veach talked about looking for a mindset for guys defensively. You’ve talked about players being energy‐givers. How does Breeland Speaks fit into that?
*REID: *“Yeah, he’s an energy‐giver. I’m not telling you he’s a screamer and a yeller and all that. That’s not what he is. But when he left the building, everybody went ‘Wow. That guy was something.’ He just brings good energy. You’ll see when he gets here, you’ll see. You just get a feeling like he’s got it together there a little bit.”
*Q: *What did he say to you guys about his on‐field temperament? He had a couple ejections for hitting – playing hard. What did you need to hear from him on that?
*REID: *“Yeah I asked him everything. I hit it all. I don’t shy away from that. You can tell he loves the game. He’s made some mistakes early in his career on‐ and off‐the‐field. We think that’s past him. He owned up to whatever things went on and he was very honest that way. I think when you meet him you’ll kind of get the feel of him.”
*Q: *Was there anything that surprised you about Speaks once Brett Veach wanted you to keep watching him more and more?
*REID: *“I look at certain things with defensive linemen. One of them is ‘how much is he on the ground?’ I look at core strength – there were a couple snaps in there where he was double‐teamed, he bent back when most guys would have gone down, he fought through it and made the tackle. The hustle, those are coaching things that I look at when I put on the tape. In today’s world, how well do they use their hands? Now you can teach some of that, but he’s got a good feel for it. The ability to play the game out in front of you, to be able to lean on an offensive lineman where you narrow your body down. These are little things, but they’re important things. Some of them are natural and some of them you can teach. He’s got a pretty good set though. How smart is he? An offensive lineman jumped out after him – he went into every game being their best defensive lineman – so how’s he going to answer those questions from a player like at Mississippi State, a rival with a real good left tackle. A kid comes out and jumps on him and stuck him pretty good. The next time he did it, [Speaks] busted his move back inside, that’s smart football, he was able to adjust. All those little things, that’s what I’m looking at and I thought he did all that well.”
*Q: *How much do you enjoy the process of looking at all these prospects and finally being able to narrow it down to picking a guy?
*REID: *“Every year it’s exciting. Probably when it’s not fun, then I’ll get out. I enjoy it. I watch the process – I used to be involved with it more when I was in Philadelphia and happily I’m not doing all of that – but I watch the process that Brett goes through, the hours that he and his staff put it. It’s phenomenal. Brett’s the type of person that’s not going to leave anything to question. He’s going to dig in and go and spend a lot of time at it. When it comes around to this, you target a guy and then you’re able to go get him, it’s pretty good. I appreciate it, it’s fun to watch.”
Q: *Brett has talked about wearing you out with players in the past. And you said he wore you out with Breeland Speaks. How often does that happen where he is doing this with players? *
*REID: *“Yeah, LeSean (McCoy), DeSean (Jackson) and (Fletcher) Cox, he wore me out. There are others but those were just ridiculous. He did it with Chris Jones, he did it with Patrick Mahomes. These are guys that he gets on one and by the time we are done, Dorse (John Dorsey) and I are going ‘Ok, calm down.’ But listen, he’s very accurate and you’re going to know where he stands, which we all appreciate.”
CHIEFS SECOND‐ROUND PICK BREELAND SPEAKS
*Q: *What was it like when you got the call that you were going to be on the Kansas City Chiefs?
*SPEAKS: *“To be honest, it was just a sigh of relief. Knowing that I had a great visit with the Chiefs and I also fit in with that defense and the system and the guys in the organization. I felt at home.”
*Q: *How much did you interact with the Chiefs during the pre‐draft process?
SPEAKS: *“There was a lot of conversation from the scout Ryne (Nutt), my visit, seeing them at the Combine. They were always pretty much there. They had already scheduled me for a Top 30 visit. *From the whole time being there I could tell they genuinely wanted me and I could tell they liked the way played. That’s one thing that I loved about them was they were able to appreciate somebody who was going to give them their all every play.”
*Q: *What do you want to tell the fans in Kansas City that they’re getting out of a player like you?
*SPEAKS: *“You’re getting a passionate player who is going to play with relentless effort and who’s basically not going to give up on any plays. You’re getting somebody who’s a hard worker, a blue collar guy from Mississippi.”
*Q: *You now have Chris Jones next to you from Mississippi State. When does the trash talk start?
*SPEAKS: *“It doesn’t. We’re on the same side that was college. He’s a Bulldog and I’m a Rebel but at the end of the day we both play for the Chiefs. That’s the bigger picture. That’s what I feel like.”
*Q: *Coach Reid is talking about you being more of a linebacker, you’re going to be rushing the quarterback but you’re also dropping back in coverage. How do you feel like that fits with your skillset?
*SPEAKS: *“I feel like it totally fits my skillset. It feels basically like my defensive line coach does it at Ole Miss. Coaches can say ‘I can move this guy around wherever I need and I know he’s going to do his job.’ Just hearing that from a coach that’s all I needed.”
*Q: *Given how much you talked with the Chiefs before when you saw them come on the clock did you have a feeling they might be picking you?
*SPEAKS: *“I did. I really did. I actually saw that they said the Chiefs would possibly move up in the draft and I had a very strong feeling that they were moving up to get me.”
*Q: *What did you learn more about the Chiefs during your visit here during the draft process?
*SPEAKS: *“That the Chiefs were right there and that they just need a few more players to be that elite team that I know they can be. Like I told Coach, I watched this past season and I dreamed of playing with Eric Berry. I dreamed of playing with Justin Houston, former Tamba Hali, guys like that. I want to learn under guys like that. To hear that the Chiefs so badly want to add me to their roster, it’s a dream come true.”
*Q: *When during the process did you think the Chiefs would be a likely landing spot?
*SPEAKS: *“I would have to say after my Top 30 visit.”
*Q: *Where are you and who was with you when you got the news and what was the reaction?
*SPEAKS: *“I’m in Jackson, Mississippi at my mom’s house. I have my family. My coach, family, friends around. It was just excitement. Everybody was just waiting on me to get that call. It just got quiet out of nowhere and my phone started ringing with an unusual number. I pretty much knew the time was near.”
*Q: *What did you tell the Chiefs when they asked you about your past?
*SPEAKS: *“I was just open and honest. There were some issues early in my football career in college. Basically, just being open with those guys about it. I have a DUI in my past and just really trying to clear the name since those events happened. Just really tried to be open with them and make sure everybody knows you get a guy who, yes, has made mistakes but has also learned from it and is moving forward not backward.”
Q: *How did you stay motivated going through a rocky season with the Ole Miss program? *
*SPEAKS: *“To be honest, football motivates me. Just the opportunity to go out and play every game.
Being happy to play in the SEC, knowing I am going against top tier talent every week, that was enough for me. But when you add my daughter in the mix, the fact that she needs to eat at the end of the day, it was just an unstoppable force.”
*Q: *How much were you asked to drop into coverage in college?
*SPEAKS: *“In college, I was asked to drop back and cover probably twice and that was the past end of the season. I haven’t been asked much to drop in college but I played middle linebacker back in high school. I add that to my sideline‐to‐sideline play. I think that coverage will be taken care of.”
CHIEFS THIRD‐ROUND PICK DERRICK NNADI
*Q: *What were your initial thoughts when you saw that the Chiefs traded up and made the move to select you?
*NNADI: *“Honestly I was just happy to be picked. I’m blessed for them to give me the opportunity to do what I can for the organization.”
*Q: *What kind of contact did you have with the team leading up to the draft?
*NNADI: *“I met with them at the Combine for a few meetings. I met with the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach before. I have former teammates who are on the team as well. I’m somewhat familiar to the organization.”
*Q: *Where do you see yourself fitting in along the defensive line?
*NNADI: *“I’m coming in trying to learn as much as I can and as soon as I can take as much as I can to either become a starting role or really become an impact to this team.”
*Q: *How do you describe yourself as a player?
*NNADI: *“As a player I see myself as consistent in what I do. I’m really disciplined in everything I do. I feel like everything I do really comes to technique. That’s one thing I’ve always worked on is everything I do is really technique and everything else follows through after that.”
CHIEFS THIRD‐ROUND PICK DORIAN O’DANIEL
*Q: *How are you feeling?
*O’DANIEL: *“You can imagine how I’m doing. I literally was shutting down my draft party. I had no idea. Was literally heading to the exit of the clubhouse and my phone started ringing and I was like this can’t be happening and then it was Kansas City. It was crazy because I met with Kansas City at the Combine and the energy and the vibe I felt wasn’t as strong in the moment. I got Kendall Fuller with me right now, we were best friends in high school and now we’re back together doing it. It’s live. I can’t even put it in words.”
*Q: *When did you think throughout the draft process that Kansas City might be a landing spot for you?
*O’DANIEL: *“I really didn’t think I was going to land in Kansas City. I didn’t really know where I was going to land because in this draft process you really don’t know where you’re going to end up. But early on I always felt deep down that Kansas City liked me a lot. They didn’t make a mistake with this pick I’ll tell you that much.”
*Q: *What position do you feel like the Chiefs are going to ask you to play?
*O’DANIEL: *“Special teams to begin with, and then from there, work in some Will linebacker and whatever sub‐packages they think might be fighting for my play style.”
*Q: *You’ve taken a lot of pride in your special teams ability. Tell me what goes into your mentality with that.
*O’DANIEL: *“It’s just one of those things that you have to take pride in. So often I believe that not enough guys take pride in special teams. Early on in my career I wasn’t getting a lot of snaps on defense so I figured people are going to hear my name and whether that’s punt, kickoffs I was going to go down and make sure people heard my name. Just thinking positive and just getting in where I can get in.”
*Q: *How much pride do you take in your pass coverage?
*O’DANIEL: *“I take a lot of pride in it because so often I feel like teams feel like they have a mismatch but they put me in the situation and I’m able to show what I’m able to do. I’m very confident in my coverage ability and I think that’s what separates me as a linebacker.”
*Q: *What did you say your relationship with Kendall Fuller was?
*O’DANIEL: *“That’s my brother. We went to high school together for three years. He’s with me right now. We were watching the draft together. You’re on speaker right now.”
*Q: *Where’d you guys watch the draft?
*O’DANIEL: *“I’m back home in Maryland at my hometown. We rented out a club house. Just closest friends and family just taking care of business.”
Q: *How cool is it to be able to share a moment like that with a guy who’s already on the team you’re going to now but he’s also your best friend? *
*O’DANIEL: *“It’s great because I know what kind of worker Kendall is and for us to link back up at the top that we talked about so often as high school students and in college to have the opportunity to with a teammate that you’ve grinded with before and you’ve been through adversity with before it’s definitely encouraging and something I’m looking forward to. I’m just so blessed and so thankful.”
GENERAL MANAGER BRETT VEACH
*OPENING STATEMENT: *“Appreciate you guys for staying. I’m excited to add three new members to the Kansas City Chiefs. All three of these players were players that were targeted this entire time. I just want to start off by thanking the members of my scouting department. Those guys and I, we were on the same page the entire night and the board kind of fell the way we thought last night and we identified some guys this morning and we tried to position ourselves to get those guys. As you guys know we were able to trade 54 and 78 for 46 and 100 and take Breeland Speaks, and 86 and 122 to take Derrick Nnadi and then we stayed at 100 to take Dorian O’Daniel. Going back to free agency we talked about bringing a toughness and mentality in regards to how the defense is going to play, how we’re going to line up on Sundays. We did that when we acquired Reggie Ragland and we wanted to do that again in free agency when we acquired Anthony Hitchens. Talk about Breeland Speaks: a guy that has a high motor, tough guy, plays hard. Talk about Derrick Nnadi: same guy, toughness, temperament. Then Dorian O’Daniel is a guy that can be a chess piece for us. We play in so much dime and sub‐packages. This guy will be on the field and be able to cover tight ends, do a lot of different things in regards to matching in our sub‐personnel and then we had him graded as the highest rated special teams player. So a guy like that at pick 100 is extremely valuable to us. Again, super excited to add all three of these guys. I look forward to getting them to KC.”
*Q: *Three‐for‐three defensive guys tonight, was that the idea?
*VEACH: *“It was, and again, how these guys are going to approach the process and what they’re going to bring on Sunday. These guys are physical players and they play that style that we want to emulate. You look at some of those teams over the years, I always look at those Steelers teams and Ravens and how those guys just kind of roll their sleeves up and play football. It’s a four quarter battle and that’s kind of the mentality we want to have. Speaks is a guy like that, Nnadi is a guy like that and Dorian O’Daniel is a guy like that. These guys play four quarters, they leave it all on the field and again they bring that kind of temperament we’re looking for.”
*Q: *Andy Reid suggested that Speaks is at least going to start out at outside linebacker. What is it about his skillset that you like him better there than as a down lineman?
*VEACH: *“Breeland is an interesting guy. When you start the pre‐Combine evaluation process you go into it and you know you don’t have a first‐round pick, so you start to kind of, in your mind, know that the (Bradley) Chubb’s are going to go and the Derwin James’ are going to go and these guys and so on and so forth. So you start to look at, alright, we’re sitting there at 54 and there’s no movement, we’re a pocket of players that would make sense for us and when we started the process out we had Breeland in that third‐round value this guy would be exactly what we’re looking for. As you know, this draft wasn’t deep in pass rushers. So where can you find guys like that. Breeland’s one of those guys that at three he’ll never be there by the time we pick again at three so we might have to pull the trigger early at 54. Then as the process goes on you realize he’s probably not going to be there at 54. That’s just the way this thing works. The old kind of deal I use is that if you’re here in three it goes in two, if you’re here in four he goes in three. So when you’re starting to hear that everybody has Speaks in three you know he’s going in two and then you realize when you start looking at the board, and I think that was a question yesterday trying to evaluate Detroit and Dallas and the Colts, they’re all picking right in front of you and we just didn’t want to risk that because this guy can get to the quarterback. He plays hard, he’s smart, he’s instinctive and more importantly he’s tough. You talk about inside, outside stuff. I saw Coach’s clippings about the Tamba (Hali) comparison. I mean if this guy ran 4.7 he’s gone way longer. He’s got long arms, he’s extremely physical. He’s a power rush player that can kick inside if he has to, but he’s extremely strong. One of the deals he has, and I think Coach mentioned this too, is the guy’s really never on the ground and he’s got extremely strong hips. So you can run a 4.4 and a 4.5, but I think everything in this league starts with the power game, the power rush player. I would take a 4.7 guy that can power rush as opposed to a 4.5 guy that really can’t. So this guy can do that. He can rush the quarterback with power. He can kick inside if he has to and again he goes all day.”
*Q: *Do you see the similarities with Tamba as far as his style of play?
*VEACH: *“You get into those bigger outside backers, he’s not 245 pounds with 4.5 speed. Tamba was a 275, 280 guy, 4.8 and change guy, but he was a point A to point B guy. It wasn’t pretty, it was just physical and that’s what this guy is. It’s not always pretty but it’s physical. Some of his late tape I think if you get a chance to watch that I think you can see what we saw and why we valued him so much. Again, just knowing that if you sit there at 54 you’re not going to get this guy and you want safeties, you want tackles. You have to affect the quarterback. You can’t go out there and play 7‐on‐7 and we looked at it as the last opportunity to get a guy that can affect the quarterback. That’s why we did what we did and went up and got him.”
*Q: *The Chargers and the Colts both had guys between that 45th pick and 54. How do you and your staff work together to know those types of things and the pockets where you’re not going to be able to wait?
*VEACH: *“Yeah that’s why you work so hard and it’s about time to set that board. You have the Chubb’s up there and the Davenport’s and you kind of work through that. You’re looking and you have (Breeland) Speaks up there and then you see what’s behind Speaks – go get him. And you also know those teams that worked him out, our guys do a great job of just keeping their eyes and ears open. We felt like there was a very slim chance he’d be there at 54 so let’s be aggressive and get the guys that we want and he was one of them.”
*Q: *(Breeland) Speaks did a good job of taking ownership of the DUI – what goes into your mind about guys that have had problems off the field?
*VEACH: *“I think everyone is a case by case situation. So it’s our job to do all of the homework you can. Spent a lot of time with Breeland at the Combine. He was one of the players that we elected for a formal interview. Spent time with him after that during the course of the week. We invited him in for a top‐30 visit. We had a bunch of people speak to him – not just coaches. Certainly we have a lot of connections at the school, some of the coaches that were there with the old regime and some of those coaches have landed in different places. You get a lot of information from different places. We did a ton of homework on this player. He has a great family and it was one of those situations that we felt really good about the kid, what he’s been through, where he is and what he’s going to be.”
*Q: *You were an SEC scout for a while – was he a guy that was on your radar?
*VEACH: *“To backtrack a little – in this position you don’t get to spend as much time on the road as you used to and Dave Hinson was our southeast scout and Ryne Nutt went in there too. So both of those guys went in there and put a grade that was noticeable to me in the fall and I remember watching in October and you’re so far down the line in regards to where this guy is going to go but I remember just watching this guy. We joked about it after we picked him and Dave and Ryne had some big grades on him and I watched him and I went into Mike Borgonzi’s office and asked him if he had watched this (Breeland) Speaks kid, this kid is tough. That’s what we’re looking for, that type of deal. So that’s where it started and then you just keep doing your homework and you build your board. Then you bring your guys in for the pre‐Combine and you go through all those guys and you go through that position and guys get excited to watch him. They see the talent. Then you go to the Combine, you meet the kid, get to learn more about him. Then you start doing your homework and you realize you want this guy – ok, go get him.”
*Q: *Was he climbing a lot?
*VEACH: *“Yeah he was. The league wasn’t stepping around. I can’t say it 100 percent because we took him. From all the evaluation that we did, from how our board was stacked and from all the information that we acquired – it was either go up and get him and we didn’t feel like we’d get him at 54.”
*Q: *How much does that top‐30 visit help solidify the decision?
*VEACH: *“It went a long way. Because you have to see for yourself. I think that the combine was a great intro to the kid and you get a vibe but there’s only a certain amount of time and you want to spend as much time as you can with a prospect. We’ve had situations where we’ve felt better about players then they come in here and then it’s a no, it’s just not going to work. So that’s a great question but certainly that was a big factor in moving up. Because sometimes you’re like okay, wasn’t bad and you’re still fine with the kid. But the kid came in here and really impressed us. Impressed Coach (Mike) Smith, and certainly impressed Coach (Bob) Sutton and Coach (Andy) Reid, so kid did a great job.”
*Q: *Did you talk to Kendall Fuller at all throughout this process on O’Daniel?
*VEACH: *“No. I know they went to the same high school and we joked. It was funny because when I called Dorian (O’Daniel), Kendall (Fuller) answered – I thought I had the wrong number. Kendall was kind of screaming, hooting and hollering and that was kind of special. I had no idea, I just knew they went to high school together, knew they were close, knew they were training together. So when I called and I heard Kendall screaming, it was a pretty cool deal. But that kid (Dorian O’Daniel) is high energy. I mean he felt like he was ready to play, he felt like he had the pads on when I was talking to him. Plays with a lot of energy, flies around, always around the football and again he was the guy we had rated as the number one special team’s guy in the draft. So that was another key addition for us. That was pretty good value with that pick.”
*Q: *Do you see (Dorian O’Daniel) as more of a safety or a linebacker?
*VEACH: *“See him more as a money back or a dime linebacker is what he is. So he’ll be in the linebacker room but he’ll be on the field on passing downs if that makes sense. We think he can develop into will linebacker and provide depth behind Reggie (Ragland) and Anthony (Hitchens) but when you go base, you’ll have Reggie and Anthony, you go nickel and you’ll have Reggie and Anthony when you go dime. We play a lot of dime and he’ll continue to grow and develop and add some more weight. But the reality of it is, we kind of like him where he is. Let him run around and make plays and then play on all (special) teams. If you’re playing 40 to 50 percent in regards to sub then playing on all those teams that’s a full night’s work.”
*Q: *How much do you weigh the raw tools from the players you’re evaluating?
*VEACH: *“I think it all goes into it. Sometimes you try to make it not complicated. Just watch tape. These guys make plays and they play hard. Sometimes you just try to get too cute and look at every little test, every agility test and 40 and bench and this and that. Just the overall thumb, does he make plays? Does he play hard? Does he love the game? That’s what these three guys do and that’s why we like them.”
*Q: *Are you going all defense tomorrow?
*VEACH: *“That’s a great question. If those are the highest players on the board, for sure. We will see if we can continue to add. We are always going to stay true to the board. We believe in the process and the guys that we like and, sure. If those guys happen to be defensive players, we will make it seven for seven or eight for eight.”
*Q: *What kind of priority was it getting good, young players?
*VEACH: *“The need was just to get better. We weren’t happy where we were. You play a home playoff game and the team drives the ball and chews up nine minutes on the clock. That’s not good enough. Sometimes it just comes down to having guys that are wired right. Guys that want to line up and play four quarters of football. Our need is to just get tougher. That’s what these guys did. We feel like these guys did that.”
*Q: *Where is O’Daniel’s run defense while in the dime?
*VEACH: *“Certainly, He is an undersized guy. In regards to taking on stuff, he is more of a slip and elude. He has great instincts. He is physical. He’s not going to turn blocks down. But at that weight, I’m not going to say he is going to go down there and fill an A gap and bull over a blocker like the two guys we have in there now. He is really instinctive. He is quick to the ball, he has great range. In regards to his ability to slip, duck and elude, that is kind of what he does. Again, the guy just played hard.”
*Q: *Was there a point in your career that you realized the value in moving up to go get your guy?
*VEACH: *“I think what you do is you spend a lot of time watching tape. You believe in the process and trust your scouts. When you get into the situation where you are looking at that board and there are big gaps, you go up and get those guys. And if the gaps aren’t big, you either trade down or just be patient. When we were in the second round and Speaks was on the board, there was a big gap. The drop off after him in regards to a guy that can get after the quarterback was big. We knew he wouldn’t be there at 54, so we went up and got him. When you come back to pick 75 when Nnadi was on the board, we were looking at how the board was kind of working, and Nnadi had such a good value there and then there was another big gap, so we went up and got him. And then we felt like we were right on pace for that third pick, we were good. We just set the board, we believe in it. When we see big gaps and big discrepancies in regards to value and you don’t make a move, the alternative when there is a big distinction, you have to go up and get him or realize that you won’t get that type of player.”
*Q: *Is it safe to characterize these players as contributors in the rotation with long‐term starter potential?
*VEACH: *“Yeah, absolutely. Again, you guys will get a chance and maybe you guys are really familiar with these guys and maybe you weren’t. But when you get a chance to put on these players, we see Speaks as a guy that it will be Justin (Houston), Dee (Ford) and Speaks. That is how I see it just based off of tape and the evaluation. I think last year we had a situation where Dee was hurt, right? Frankie Zombo had to play a lot of plays. Now bring Breeland (Speaks) in here, we feel we have the ability to have Justin, Dee and then Breeland (Speaks) in there. And then Tanoh (Kpassagnon) can still develop and do a little bit of both (strong side and weak side linebacker) and then Frankie can assume more of a (special) teams role. But, again, Justin, Dee and Breeland (Speaks) is how we see it. Nnadi will be in that rotation, and again, with O’Daniel you are looking at the percentages you play in that dime stuff and then all the (special) teams. These guys will be on the field and be contributors. And again, they will make their presence felt because of how they play and the way they play.”
*Q: *How would you rank how much you wore Coach out with Speaks’ tape?
*VEACH: *“I don’t know if I wore him out as much because I had a lot more going on. Back in the day, my plate wasn’t as full. I could just hang out and text him and send him stuff. He knew I obviously liked these three players. I don’t know if I had that kind of free time to just hound him. But he knew.”
*Q: *What do you think about what is left on the board?
*VEACH: *“So we come back, I guess we are 24 in the fourth (round) and then a six and a seven. This is where our road scouts come through. They do a great job. We spend a ton of time on the back end of this board because when you have 30 or 40 picks that are kind of the same, I think I said this yesterday, you start to see discrepancies. That’s when these names that people aren’t familiar with go just because there’s just not a lot. But the lower you go, the more the small school players come into play and these height, weight, speed guys come into play. We spend a lot of time on these late round guys trying to stack our board and be prepared for different scenarios. We are excited for it and we are looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully making some more key additions.”