KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs enter the 2018 draft without a first round pick, but general manager Brett Veach refuses to rule out the possibility the club may actively work their way back into the first night of the draft, if the right scenario develops.
“I think all cards are on the table,” Veach said. “That’s the great part about the draft ,you really never know how everything’s going to play out.”
The Chiefs currently hold eight selections in this year’s draft with the No. 54 overall pick in the second round the highest. Moving up to late in the first round would likely involve this year’s second-round selection plus as many as two more early to mid-round picks.
“I think it’s our job to be prepared and maybe it doesn’t make sense for us,” Veach said. “Maybe the equity is too much. Maybe you don’t want to give up two, three picks to get all the way up there.”
Veach proved himself an active trader in less than a year on the job. He professes a belief that a teams’ draft equity remains its most valuable commodity. That can mean both using draft selections to acquire young talent while also using picks to pick up players that the team’s scouting department values highly.
“One thing that I’ve probably noticed over the last three or four years is when you see a guy, get him,” Veach said. “You don’t always have to acquire picks.”
Moving back into the first round has other benefits in addition to picking up a player the Chiefs covet. First round draft pick contracts include a fifth-year option, which means teams can have control of a player for five seasons. Second-round draft contracts only guarantee team control for four seasons. The Chiefs traded out of the first round in the 2016 draft before selecting defensive lineman Chris Jones. Jones can become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Veach said his staff runs through mock drafts and what-if scenarios in the event a player the club ranks highly falls to late in the first round.
“I believe in the process and I know that we’ve identified guys all throughout the draft rounds one through seven,” Veach said. “But if there’s that guy that we thought was a top 10 pick and he’s there at 28, then we have to at least be prepared and we have dialogue throughout this process.
“That’s why we’ve started calling teams now letting them know that we’re always open for business,” Veach said.