The expectation is that the Chiefs will select a defensive player with the 32nd pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. This is not an unreasonable expectation. The Chiefs look to be retaining most of their offensive pieces and a number of significant contributors on defense will not be returning next year. Starting CB and safety, Kendall Fuller, recently signed with the Redskins while Reggie Ragland will be taking his LB talents to Detroit. The Chiefs have also lost Emmanual Ogbah and Xavier Williams from the defensive line. Certainly, the Chiefs have plenty of holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. Still, Chiefs fans should not rule out the idea that Brett Veach could pull the trigger on a WR in the first round. Here are three reasons why the Chiefs might add a receiver with the 32nd pick of the NFL Draft.
1) The Chiefs need a plan for the future. Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins are returning next year. They also have Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman under contract. This would seem to be a position of depth for the Chiefs. However, it is important to remember that Robinson and Watkins are returning on one-year deals with the Chiefs. Once Mahomes is signed to his massive contract, it is highly unlikely they will be able to afford either of these receivers in 2021. Part of preparing for the future could mean ensuring that Mahomes has top flight receivers around him for years to come. Moreover, receivers generally require a full year to get comfortable with Reid’s offense.
2) Special teams is a priority for the Chiefs. Andy Reid has always ensured Dave Toub has some of the most skilled and explosive returners in the game. We have seen that with Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. As Tyreek Hill took a more prominent position in the Chiefs receiving corps, his role as a returner has diminished. Last year, Hardman shouldered much of the load for returns. Chiefs fans should expect that as Hardman continues to develop as a receiver, his role as a returner will diminish as well. A top flight receiving talent could be seen as another weapon in the return game as the rookie learns Reid’s complex offensive system.
3) The Chiefs want to overwhelm teams with offense. Last year, the Chiefs set out to fix the defensive side of the ball. They brought in a host of new coaches, added expensive free agents in Clark and Mathieu and used two of their top three picks on defenders (Thornhill and Saunders). The year prior, they used their entire draft on defense. Now that the defense has begun to turn the corner, the Chiefs could easily return to their first love in this year’s draft, offense. We have seen it in the past. The Chiefs had a host of solid weapons in Hill, Hunt, and Kelce and still Veach shelled out a monster contract for Watkins.
Veach might choose to rub salt in opposing defensive coordinators wounds by adding even more toys that Mahomes can use to torment them. This is especially true since Veach hasn’t needed to use top picks to secure solid offensive linemen to keep Mahomes upright. Veach highly values highly talented receivers. He has shown he is willing to use more resources than conventional wisdom would suggest he should in order to secure them.
This year’s receiver class is deep. So it is probable that the Chiefs will opt to wait to select their future Watkins replacement. There are still a lot of bodies to replace on defense. Yet, Reid values dynamic playmakers and the Chiefs certainly want their superstar QB to be able to utilize all of his unique talents and abilities for years to come. For that reason, if Brett Veach sees a playmaking receiver fall to him on day one of the draft, do not be stunned if the Chiefs add even more cap-friendly firepower with their first pick.
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