Chiefs stand pat on draft’s opening night

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first round of the NFL draft unleashed a few surprises but none of them involved the Kansas City Chiefs, who watched from the sidelines without a first round selection.

General manager Brett Veach admitted he felt tempted to move back into the first round. He said he had dialogue with teams between the 27th and 31st picks but nothing came close to fruition.

“It has to make sense for us both now and in the future,” Veach said. “When you’re talking about multiple picks or talking about getting into ’19 picks, it was just something we weren’t interested in doing.”

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach talks about the first round of the 2018 NFL draft at the team’s training complex on April 26, 2018. (Photo by Matt Derrick, ChiefsDigest.com)

The Chiefs open Friday’s second round with the 22nd pick of the evening. Veach feels good that he can still land a player he wants even without making a move upward in the round.

“We feel pretty good about where the board is, how the numbers worked out,” Veach said. “There are always different scenarios that could play out but I think we’re positioned to capitalize however it does play out.”

Five quarterbacks went off the board in Thursday’s first round, including four within the first 10 picks. Buffalo swapped picks with Tampa Bay to select Wyoming’s Josh Allen at No. 7, while Arizona moved up to No. 10 in selecting UCLA’s Josh Rosen.

The Chiefs dealt their first round pick in this year’s draft to the Buffalo Bills a year ago as part of the package to land quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the No. 10 pick in last year’s draft. Veach

“It’s always good to be a year early in your thought process in how you want to attack things and to wait until you can’t wait any more,” Veach said. “I feel good about our thought process last year, be a year early, not a year late.”

The Chiefs hold two third-round selections along with their second-round pick in Friday’s portion of the draft. Veach feels happy with where his draft boards stands right now.

“We have good picks and we can get good players staying put,” Veach said. “And we have some ability to move around too.”

Some intriguing names remain available who could fit the team’s needs on defense. The list includes Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry, Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson and Stanford safety Justin Reid.

Kansas City’s AFC West opponents had a busy night. Denver acted first, selecting pass rusher Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 pick.

The Los Angeles Chargers went defense on their first selection, picking up safety Derwin James.

“They got some pretty good players there,” Veach said.

Oakland made two draft night trades. One involved moving down from No. 10 to 15, picking up third- and fifth-round selections from Arizona. The Raiders selected UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller.

The Raiders turned around and sent Arizona’s third-round selection to Pittsburgh for wide receiver Martavis Bryant.

With the first round complete, Veach already started running through mock second round drafts with his scouting department. Conversations with teams interested in moving down in the second round also started Thursday night. Teams will start making overtures between 8 and 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day.

“Those teams that want to trade down, they’ll start shopping their offers, that’s how the game is played,” Veach said. “You just have to be sure what you want and where you want to go or you want to stay put.

“You have to have guys in place that you’ll take or have backup plans ready to trade back and pick up more picks.”

Veach expects more unpredictability in Friday’s second round. A handful of players considered first-round picks expect to go early, then the differing evaluations of teams starts to emerge.

“Then after that, it kind of gets crazy,” Veach said. “It goes in different direction, and then you see the distinctions between boards.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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