KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach capped off a busy weekend at the 2022 NFL Draft by addressing his level of optimism with the team and its newest members.
“I feel pretty good about the work we did in the offseason. We had a lot of things we had to accomplish. I feel good about our approach. I feel good about the plan we had,” Veach said.
Veach said he remains optimistic about the moves the team made since the end of the AFC Championship loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It looks good on paper, but there is a ton of work that has to be done,” Veach said. “This is the first part, these OTAs, getting everybody on the same page. It’s gonna take a lot of work, but I think we have the guys.”
Seven of the Chiefs’ 10 draft picks were on the defensive side of the ball, and Veach credits their ability to do that with the free agents the team was able to sign.
“I think it’s a combination of us wanting to certainly get better and get deeper and younger, but had we not been able to sign the Schusters [JuJu Smith-Schuster], and the MVS’ [Marquez Valdes-Scantling] and the Rojos [Ronaldo Jones II], then maybe it deviates a little,” Veach said.
Late in the fourth round, Veach and his team selected cornerback Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State. A small school in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in the Division II ranks.
Veach said he liked his ability to bounce back from a slow start in the Senior Bowl.
“He’s a big corner. He’s smart. He’s athletic. He’s got size,” Veach said. “Some of those things you can’t coach. We just think that he’s got a real shot.”
Ten picks later, the Chiefs selected Kentucky right tackle Darian Kinnard. The 6-foot-5-inch tall, 345-pound tackle played against some of the top talents in college football in the SEC.
That experience drew Veach’s eye and his subsequent selection.
“Any time you can go and play right tackle successfully at an SEC level, more often than not, it will translate to the pro level. It will be a jump just like all these colleges are when you’re moving up to the NFL, so it’s not going to be easier,” Veach said. “If you can lineup and play against defensive fronts of that caliber, you’re certainly gonna have a shot.”
After the draft finished, the Chiefs signed undrafted free agent Justyn Ross, who suffered a career-threatening neck injury in 2020.
After a stellar freshman and sophomore season, he missed the 2020 season and came back in 2021 with hopes that an NFL team would take a chance on him.
“Our docs did a great job of exhausting the situation,” Veach said. “If our docs say, ‘Good,’ we’re good … Talent-wise, as long as he stays healthy, he has a shot.”
The Chiefs’ OTAs will start on toward the end of May, and mandatory rookie minicamp will begin on June 7.