Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 NFL Draft is still on schedule to start in under a week. Instead of holding a big, in-person event, teams across the country will be working remotely and sending their picks via the internet to League Commissioner Roger Goodell. This is definitely a difficult and new process for every organization in the league, but Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach appears to be taking the changes in stride and adjusting as best he can.
Brett Veach Adjusting to Remote NFL Draft
Speaking with reporters last Thursday, Veach said that the whole process has been an “evolution.” At first, Veach and company didn’t understand how the process was going to work. However, Veach said that thanks to the virus, “the last two or three weeks everything has been virtual.” The current state of the world forced everyone within the Chiefs organization to communicate virtually to the point that it’s “becoming commonplace.”
Veach went on to add that he’s trying to keep the draft process as normal as possible. Under normal conditions, teams usually have a board of 150-250 players worthy of being drafted. Veach says that’s still the plan, although he has acknowledged that the situation has caused the board to be slightly smaller. Despite the smaller board, Veach doesn’t think it will be anything that “dramatically alter[s]” their process.
Of course, COVID-19 isn’t the only obstacle the Chiefs need to overcome to have a successful draft. Thanks to their Super Bowl championship, Kansas City currently owns the 32nd overall pick. While this is obviously a worthwhile tradeoff, it does complicate the draft process. Veach notes that no matter how hard any organization prepares, there is always going to be “twists and turns” that come out of left field. When picking early in the draft, there are usually only one or two major surprises that need to be accounted for. These twists and turns obviously increase as the draft goes on and on.
Navigating the Draft
Over the past few years, Veach and company have been rather aggressive when it comes to moving up in the draft and packing picks for players. While that obviously worked out, it left the Chiefs with only five picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the relative lack of selection won’t necessarily stop Veach from his aggressive tendencies.
“[Y]ou never want to go into a draft and pigeonhole yourself in saying ‘We’re definitely moving down’ or ‘we’re definitely just going to stay there’.” That said, Veach also said that “the more picks, the better” and would probably prefer to trade down. However, it sounds like he will remain put if “there’s a guy we just did not anticipate being there…”
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