Well, Brett Veach scouted Patrick Mahomes! Just for this one, he should scoop the award for the best NFL GM! But let’s get more serious and check out what are the main differences between the Kansas Chiefs GM Brett Veach and Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Jason Licht.
Jason Licht’s best pick was Tristan Wirfs, round one (number 13) during the 2020 draft. Before joining the Bucs in 2014, Licht worked for the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles (with Andy Reid), and Arizona Cardinals.
But he got patient and survived many coaches through the years until Bruce Arians and a certain Tom Brady helped him win the Super Bowl this year. Despite some flashy free-agent signings, Licht built the Bucs’ foundation with his draft talents, getting Ali Marpet, Vita Vea, Chris Godwin, Devin White, Carlton Davis, Donovan Smith, and Sean Murphy-Bunting all playing leading roles in the Bucs victory at the Super Bowl. These were already good players before Brady arrived, and the awesome 2020 draft class helped improve the team even more.
“There’s one thing that I always remember Andy saying, and it stays with me to this day,” Licht said. “In this business, there’s peaks and valleys. And over the last few years, we’ve had a lot more valleys than peaks.
Every day, there could be something difficult, some challenges, or a bad day. Something bad happened, whether it’s injury or whatnot. And Andy used to always say, when things were bad, whether it’s the offseason or the season, he’d say, ‘Hey, just go to bed, wake up tomorrow. It’s always better.’
Brett Veach from the Chiefs also comes from the coaching tree of Mr. Andy Reid, one of the NFL guru coaches.
He became General Manager in Kansas City in 2017 and drafted many talents since then. The number one draft pick is Patrick Mahomes (who was officially drafted when Dorsey was GM but Veach is known as the man who pushed the hardest for it). But let’s not forget about, Derrick Nnadi, Rashad Fenton, L’Jarius Sneed, Juan Thornhill or Mecole Hardman, and great free agents.
Going back to Jason Licht, he succeeded to bring back all 22 starters from last year in Tampa Bay. The draft in this case was just adding talents for the future, and that is a great result for the Bucs so far this season.
While Brett Veach had to find creative ways to reinvent the Chiefs offensive line, which clearly drowned during the Superbowl. With five new starters including the amazing Orlando Brown Jr coming from Baltimore, the Kansas City GM did the impossible to protect Patrick Mahomes from running for his life for a whole game again.
And actually Brett Veach and Jason Licht spent quite some time together when they were both working for Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles.
In a zoom call, Jason Licht said in a laugh about Brett Veach: “Brett came in. He’d have 1,000 questions a day! What do you think of this guy? At that point, Andy was grooming him, unintentionally maybe, to [rise to] the position that he’s at right now. He was always a very good evaluator. We had a lot of arguments too, over players. He loved to argue. He wasn’t somebody where I could say, ‘No, I think you’re wrong. I like this guy.’ Why? Why do you like him? Did you watch the UTEP game? Why?”
Brett Veach responded: “I was always in Jason’s office. It would’ve been so easy for Jason to be like, Dude, you’re annoying. Jason’s always had his door open for me. He was so influential in my career. Just learning the game in all different aspects. I knew nothing about scouting. I mean, watching tape is a very small part of it. Roster composition, broad-term thinking, my first exposure to the actual scouting process was in Licht’s office.”
Well, in the end, we can say their collaboration paid off since they are both Super Bowl champions GMs. Who is the best just yet? Well, maybe next year will be the right year to decide which one will do best. Revenge season for the Chiefs or run it back season for the Bucs?