Analysis Opinion

Brett Veach’s roster management continues to prove that he’s one of the best

When Brett Veach was hired at the tender age of 38, he was the youngest GM in the NFL and not much was known about him outside of the NFL front offices. The “wunderkid” has proved why he secured the job in spades over the past 2 and a half seasons. His eye for talent was apparent, according to Perez Taylor, who was then the Chiefs beat writer at the KC Star, who said of Veach, “The first thing I hear when I ask people around the league about Brett Veach is he’s a strong evaluator of talent.” This was apparent even before he was named General Manager of the Chiefs organization, and still the co-director of player personnel and voiced his opinion on the Chiefs trading up from the 27thoverall pick to 10th to select Mahomes and cement Veach’s eye for evaluating talent. Veach came across Mahomes earlier than most, when he was actually studying the offensive line draft picks after the 2015 season and saw a couple plays where Pat made throws that he has become known for in Kansas City. After viewing more tape, Veach took his findings to Andy Reid and then GM John Dorsey and began cultivating a relationship with Patrick and his family, eventually selling the organization on the trade up in the draft to select him at 10thoverall. Clark Hunt stated that “Brett, obviously with retrospect now, did a tremendous job on scouting Patrick and then getting first, Andy (Reid), and then later, John Dorsey, excited about him… Brett deserves a lot of the credit.” This was maybe the move that secured the GM job for Veach after the Chiefs decided to part ways with John Dorsey; it certainly was a decision that put the Chiefs perennially at the top of the AFC West standings. There are a lot more understated moves that have proven Brett Veach’s skills as a talent identifier and legitimate contender for the top GM in the NFL, as well as the youngest.

Andy Reid was quoted as saying about Veach in 2018 “He’s relentless and that energy isn’t coming out of a can or something. That’s real and he is that way 24-7. He just goes.” This is quite the complement coming from a head coach who is most often the first person into the offices each morning and the last one to leave each night. Veach learned this go-getting mentality when he was hired as Reid’s Coaching Intern in Philedelphia in 2004. His first draft as GM in KC in 2018 left a little to be desired, with the Cheifs using their first overall pick on second rounder Breeland Speaks. Veach made up for it in 2019 by drafting pro-bowler Mecole Hardman and Juan Thornhill (who some said was on his way to a pro bowl before getting injured) in the 2ndround a year later. These two picks showed that Veach still had the touch he showed in identifying talent that he showed when he ID’ed Mahomes so long before other NFL scouts.

Veach also had a brilliant offseason in the free agent market, working with limited cap space and still managing to bring back 20 of 22 Super Bowl starters, including restructuring Sammy Watkins to a deal to free up more cap space. He also was able to get Demarcus Robinson, Bashaud Breeland, and hometown run stuffer Mike Pennel to return on 1-year deals, the latter of which was really impressive considering the season Pennel put together on the field last year. He also brought in CB Antonio Hamilton, improving the depth at corner and making it so he could spend the 1stround pick in 2020 on potential multi-threat RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Another area where the Chiefs lacked depth was at the TE spot, where he signed former Brown Ricky Seals-Jones to a 1-year deal. Overall, this offseason Veach put on a masterclass on how to do more with less money to work with than anyone has before, and this seems to be a recurring theme with Veach. The Chiefs truly are blessed with an amazing front office, head coach, and QB. That has the future looking even brighter than it ever has in Kansas City.

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