Draft 2024: Against the Grain

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Draft 2024: Against the Grain

       Going against the grain is a risky proposition. Chisel wood that way and you likely will get splinters, chisel stone and you get rough surfaces or worse. But here goes: the Kansas City Chiefs could select a running back and or a linebacker in the first three rounds of the 2024 draft and I’d be okay with that. I can imagine the caps locked and bolded scorn flying off the keyboards of AG regular and reliable Gonz and others. Look at the disappointment of RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, might be shouted back, and left tackle is a far greater need followed by wide receiver they’d argue possibly adding the general importance of these positions is greater than either RB or LB and they’re harder to find in the later rounds of a draft. Good points all, and it’s likely more folks would agree than not, still it’s worth considering the case for going against the grain in this draft.

       As of March 21, 2024, the Chiefs in the first wave of free agency have seen depart OL Allegretti, LB Gay, TE Fortson, S Edwards, P Townsend, and maybe others remaining unsigned from last season’s roster. CB Sneed is tagged and it feels like a 50/50 chance he’ll stay or move. GM Veach and Co. have re-signed DLs Jones, Pennel, Nnadi, Wharton, P Araiza, LS Winchester, OL Caliendo, LBs Tranquill and Christiansen, TE Smith, AND signed WR Brown. I may have missed a player or two but I’d say on balance the Chiefs have helped their roster. As for Mr. Sneed: I’d be thrilled to see him back in the Red and Gold for another season. His goal-line play to knock the ball out of Ravens Flowers’ hands is one of the most thrilling plays I’ve ever seen. I would also accept his choice to sign elsewhere and I’d wish him well. Veach and Co. strike me as having prepared contingencies upon contingencies. They’ll make the cap work either way so it seems like a win-win setting.

       The Detroit Lions set a template in the last draft by selecting RB Gibbs and LB Campbell in the first round. Both athletes made solid contributions and will be integral to the Lions push for glory. Brett Veach and Andy Reid aren’t Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, however, and the Chiefs of April 2024 are under different circumstances than the Lions of a year ago. There are position groups to address: back-up QB as well as the OL, WR,  and DB (especially if Sneed goes elsewhere) and I’d argue also the LB group – if only to build on a strength but also because passing games are complex and require multiple LBs able to cover the pass and run on defense. OT will be addressed by them, I’m certain, and the WR group is a work in progress they’ll not neglect (I agree these two positions are the priority under PON). It remains to be seen what Veach does in the ensuing days and weeks leading to the draft, but It does seem to me the Chiefs are much closer to drafting for BPA over PON and this flexibility is good.

       Sitting at the 32nd overall pick, the Chiefs might see the top six or so OTs drafted before their turn, and the same could be said for WRs (rankings based on what I’ve seen from the big heads at enneffelldotcom). Is it better to pick the 7th ranked OT or the top ranked RB or LB at that point? God bless Clyde Edwards-Helaire because probably few Chiefs fans will for his performance carrying the rock after being picked in the first round. Likely most if not all Chiefs fans have an antipathy for a repeat choice of RB in Round1. Yet Pacheco cannot carry the load alone plus CEH and McKinnon probably won’t be back and further I suspect there’s little there there with Prince or other practice squad backups. The top tier of UFA RBs have already been snapped up so, barring a trade, the draft should play an important role in filling out this group. As for LB: re-signing Tranquill was huge, losing Gay is tough – he will be missed, Bolton is a beast, and Chenal is coming along very nicely. If one of the top LBs according to Veach’s draft board is available and in his consideration qualifies for BPA then maybe that’s the way to go.

       All I’m saying is that it could happen: RB and or LB could be drafted by Veach in the first three rounds this year. I know it seems to go against the grain but if due diligence is done, if the angles and contours are studied, and if there’s confidence in the outcome then tap the chisel that way. I’ll be okay with this, after all it is Brett Veach and Andy Reid wielding the mallet and they’re already well into sculpting a masterpiece in Kansas City.

Larch

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NovaChiefs
03/24/2024 7:23 pm

This is one of the problems with having such a productive draft. Everyone comes due the same year. I don’t know how Veach is going to handle the next few seasons

3rdnlong
Reply to  NovaChiefs
03/24/2024 7:57 pm

The only good option is continue to draft and develop future stars.

Tyrone
03/24/2024 4:01 am

I’m happy to take BPA in all of the first 3 rounds, as long as it’s not QB, K, P, LS, RB.

My issue with taking RB early (especially first round) is you’re just as likely to get 90% of the production from a 7th round RB as you are from a second round RB. And that’s from an already low value position.

NovaChiefs
Reply to  larch
03/24/2024 7:30 pm

Hill’s trade was softened by the haul of picks we got. I’ve heard others saying that the 3rd we got was fair, because that’s clearly what the market was, but I feel we took anything to make space.
Maybe what we get with his $19M will be worth it, maybe we re-sign several guys instead.
Hill was a bigger loss, and it worked out very well. Fingers crossed.

upamtn
03/23/2024 11:17 pm

and yeah, Sneed is gone (pending physical) and I’m down with that … 8th most cap space in the league … whatever BV wants (no doubt with input from Reid/Spags)

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Last edited 22 days ago by upamtn
pompano
03/23/2024 10:47 pm

👍

Snafu
03/23/2024 10:12 pm

Good stuff, larch. Thanks

Severely Concussed
03/23/2024 9:05 pm

👍

NovaChiefs
03/23/2024 9:01 pm

Good thoughts.
AFA RB, in the first 3 rds would be a good play.
I love Pacheco, but he’s too small to run with that fury for more than 3-4 years. Unless he learns to get AROUND tacklers instead of OVER them, he’s going to continue to get hurt.
We need a tank back there. Someone big and sturdy who can pick up the yard needed and we can save Pacheco for when the D isn’t totally keying on the run.
I’d love to see them lock up Bolton this year, so we don’t have a glut of players needing to be signed all at once.
And I agree, I’d rather have the 3rd best LB than the 8th best OT

NovaChiefs
Reply to  larch
03/24/2024 7:31 pm

It feels like everyone comes due in the next two seasons.

3rdnlong
03/23/2024 7:01 pm

I’d be ok with a 3rd or 4th used for RB Isaac Guerendo. Dude can move.

Team Player
Reply to  3rdnlong
03/24/2024 8:16 am

Jaylen Wright in 4, Guarendo in 5. Should be available

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