The 2020 NFL Draft was originally planned to be held from April 23 through April 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On March 21, 2020 we learned that the draft would no longer be held in Las Vegas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last few months football fans have wondered what the 2020 NFL Draft might look like. With the limitations caused by COVID-19, it was clear that the normal procedures were not an option. For the Kansas City Chiefs it should all work out, no matter the circumstances. This is due to the trust the franchise has in each other and the 2020 off-season strategy executed by Chiefs GM Brett Veach, Head Coach Andy Reid, and the personnel staff.
So where is the draft going to take place and what will be different? Well honestly it’s relatively simple. As we learned on April 06, 2020 the draft will be conducted in a fully virtual format. So that means that team personnel won’t be together when making their selections, per the request of the league. As a result it will level the playing field for teams in cities that are on complete lock down that wouldn’t be legally able to meet in a group setting. Such an order was necessary and Roger Goodell did what had to be done to keep everyone apart and as safe as possible. Each individual will be in their own homes and communicating remotely via different forms of technology. This format may cause communication issues for teams and lead to costly mistakes. Examples of this could be sending in a pick late or having a trade fall through due to technical difficulties. The changes will be an annoyance for all teams, but could work out better for the Kansas City Chiefs than most. This is due to their front office continuity and their off-season strategy.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach and HC Andy Reid have really embraced the “Run it Back” strategy. This strategy has focused on bringing guys from the 2019 roster back for the future. This will help lighten the blow of an abnormal off-season, which may not include OTA’s or Training Camp thanks to the corona virus. This strategic plan helped them retain twenty of the twenty-two starters from Super Bowl 54 and eliminated any glaring needs heading into the draft. The team will return almost all of their Super Bowl 54 starters besides Kendall Fuller and Stefan Wisniewski. The Chiefs have put themselves in a position to draft the best player available opposed to having to reach to fill needs.
Being able to draft off of how their draft board falls will allow them to focus on acquiring the best player available. This gives KC an advantage over the other thirty-one teams, because they won’t have to rely as much on conversations and communication during the completely virtual draft. The “Run It Back” strategy allows Brett Veach the flexibility to not have to put all his eggs in one basket and take risks on guys just to fill a positional need. The Chiefs have areas they could improve like every team, but with communication being a potential problem in the draft the Chiefs can rely more on the work they have done with the draft board on April 23rd, thanks to their lack of immediate roster needs heading into the draft. You combine that with the chemistry, experience, and trust that Brett Veach and Andy Reid have with one another and the Chiefs have another clear advantage over other teams. Most organizations do not have the luxuries of GM and HC chemistry, experience, and trust like they do in KC. This could force teams to make a pick that not everyone agrees with, due to time constraints, lack of trust, and communication barriers. Issues that the Kansas City Chiefs should not have to deal with.
This is why I believe the Chiefs off-season strategy works well for the completely virtual 2020 NFL Draft. We know that Coach Reid and Brett Veach call the shots in the war room in KC and that won’t change. All of these decisions have to have the green light of both Veach and Reid. The only thing that changes, is that they won’t be face to face. Otherwise I expect this to be business as usual for the Kansas City Chiefs. They clearly have a plan in place to defend their title as the reigning Super Bowl Champions. That plan and strategic mindset have put them in a great situation heading into the 2020 NFL draft. So let’s hope the internet connection is strong and that Brett Veach once again has built a perfect draft board that allows the team to improve as much as possible. The team has the advantage to add the best players available with each selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and that advantage just might put them under the bright Super Bowl lights in Tampa Bay, Florida in February of 2021.