Skip to main content

Kansas City Chiefs Official Team Website |

NFL Draft

Five Things We Learned from GM Brett Veach's Pre-Draft Presser

Chiefs GM Brett Veach spoke with the media on Friday morning

With the 2024 NFL Draft less than a week away, Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach spoke with the media on Friday to discuss the state of the team heading into the marquee event of the offseason.

Here are a handful of topics that stood out from his presser.

1. Veach was asked about the Chiefs' offseason moves up until this point, notably the decision to re-sign All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones.

"When we left Vegas and had a chance to get together before the Combine, one of the things that I think was glaring to us was we were potentially looking at losing most – if not all – of our defensive line," Veach said. "Mike Danna, Chris Jones, Turk Wharton and Derrick Nnadi. So, [there was] obviously a huge amount of concern there, especially given how well our defense played last year…Chris, right out the gate, was our priority. [We] wanted to make sure we got him done."

Veach went on to explain the "domino effect" of re-signing Jones, which included the re-signings of Danna, Wharton, Nnadi and linebacker Drue Tranquill. Each of those players contributed to one of the league's top defenses last season, making their collective retention a priority.

On the other side of the ball, Veach also discussed the signing of veteran wide receiver Hollywood Brown.

"Every year, whether it's free agency or the draft, if there's an opportunity to add a playmaker for [quarterback Patrick Mahomes], we're always going to be looking for those options," Veach said. "[We] played it out, so to speak, at some other positions. I think we were lucky that Hollywood's situation played out the way it did. I think he's going to be a great one-year addition for us, and he's going to set himself up nicely moving forward. We're excited, and like I said, every year is different and unique. I think with the resources we had available, we maximized what we can do this offseason."

2. In terms of players already on the roster, Veach was specifically asked about the Chiefs' comfortability with offensive tackle Wanya Morris taking over as Kansas City's starting left tackle in 2024.

"That's a good question. I think we were really happy with Wanya's development last year, and think he showed some signs early on in OTAs that we were really excited about," Veach said. "He continued that growth and maturation process during training camp, and [during the] middle of the season, he got an opportunity. [There was] some good and some bad."

That stretch Veach was alluding to was between Week 14 and Week 16, when Morris – a third-round pick in last year's draft – made four starts at left tackle in lieu of injured incumbent starter Donovan Smith.

"I think Wanya would tell you this, if you look at his body of work last year, I think on one end, you're happy that he was able to come in at the pro level and be competitive. It wasn't perfect, but it also was solid play that I think is a good foundation to build and grow on," Veach said. "He has to come in here with the mindset that we're going to look to bring in competition, and he's got to come in here and win that position. I think it's his job to come in and be prepared to win that position, and it's our job to go out there and find competition for that left tackle spot. Again, I think there's a lot of promise in there and there's a lot of ability, but certainly, I think it's our job to bring in some competition there and make him earn that and work for it."

3. As for the draft itself, Veach was asked to evaluate the wide receiver depth in this year's class.

"I think it's one of the deeper classes. The good thing about the wide receiver position – this is typically every year – is they provide depth really one through five, and there's always pockets of players," Veach said. "I think there is a large group of receivers in the first 50 picks that we have great grades on. Then, I think there's another pocket right behind that, and I think that is a positive."

He went on to talk about a handful of other areas that this draft appears to be deep in, such as cornerback and defensive lineman.

"I think there's some depth [at cornerback] middle to later on in the draft. [The talent at] offensive lineman is really good early, so there will be a late run on those guys, but it tails off a little bit [after that]. I think it's a better defensive line class than what we've seen in the past. There's some good mid-round depth there. Linebacker and running back are probably a little lighter than years past. [Overall], offensive line, receiver and corner are good hot spots throughout the draft, and that's a good thing because we could use one of each of those."

Veach later explained that adding depth along the offensive line (specifically finding depth at guard and center in addition to adding competition at left tackle), wide receiver and cornerback are areas the Chiefs may need to address.

4. Veach also revealed how many prospects are on the Chiefs' draft board heading into next week.

"It's 221 – which is a lot – but I have guys in the sixth or seventh round on my board [even though] I always know that we'll never get to the sixth or seventh round," Veach said. "The total number of players on the board is 221, but in my mind, there's kind of like a line right there and those guys in six and seven we keep on the board because that's where I want to work [from] on free agency, so I know where I'm going as soon as the draft is over. The guys that we have on the board [in the] sixth and seventh – again, we'll have plenty of numbers and we'll never get to them – but that's my free agency board."

Veach was referring to the rookie free agency period immediately following the draft, which can be a frenzy as teams attempt to sign their favorite undrafted free agent prospects. The Chiefs have found numerous contributors during that time over the years, including defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton, offensive guard Mike Caliendo, cornerback Ekow Boye-Doe and linebacker Jack Cochrane, among others.

5. Lastly, Veach was asked about the likelihood of trading up from No. 32 overall.

"[We're] just weighing the options. On one end, I think there are 16 to 18 guys this year that we have as first round grades. You factor in some quarterbacks there, and some teams that will go in different directions that are contradictory to what our board has," Veach said. "You figure probably 16-18 names – including four or five quarterbacks – [there] could be a window there where we have an opportunity to get a guy, [and] then it's just weighing the cost. If it's a corner, an offensive lineman or a receiver, we're probably going to give up the opportunity to take that other position later in the draft. Is one guy that you have a first-round grade on better than two guys that you have maybe a second or third-round grade on? It's just weighing that formula for us."

Veach continued by providing an example of that formula being worth it in the past when the Chiefs moved up to select cornerback Trent McDuffie in the 2022 Draft.

"It comes down to the value of the guy that falls. If he's one of those guys that you really have as a top 10 or top 12 pick, I think you do it. [That's what happened with] Trent McDuffie's situation," Veach said. "If it's one of those guys, we'll certainly be aggressive, and hopefully we can find a trading partner, but I also think there's some depth in round two there. There are opportunities to add players who come in and push for starting positions in rounds two and three as well."

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on April 25 and continues through April 27.

Related Content