Chiefs knew long before the draft they wanted to trade up for Breeland Speaks

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When the Chiefs like a player in the draft, they go up and get him.

Last year, that player was quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whom the Chiefs drafted 10th overall after a move up that saw them trade away two first-round picks and a third-round pick. This year, the player the Chiefs wanted was former Ole Miss defensive lineman Breeland Speaks.

The Chiefs didn’t have a first-round pick this year because they traded it away to get Mahomes last year. Their first pick was in the second round, 54th overall, and Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said that as he gathered intelligence on the draft, he realized Speaks would be gone before the Chiefs’ second-round pick, No. 54 overall.

“He’ll never be there by the time we pick in round three, so we might have to pick him at 54. Then we realized he likely wouldn’t be there at 54,” Veach said, via Josh Norris of Rotoworld.

Veach said he loved Speaks and urged coach Andy Reid to study him closely. Reid ended up watching every snap Speaks played and loved him too. So the Chiefs decided to package a second-round pick and a third-round pick in a deal to move up to 46th overall, and that’s where they got Speaks.

Most studies of the draft have indicated that trading down is generally the safer move than trading up: The draft is hard enough to predict that you’re better off if you have more picks, rather than packaging picks to target one player. But the Chiefs do things differently. They think Mahomes is their franchise quarterback of the future, and Speaks will be a big part of their defense.

29 responses to “Chiefs knew long before the draft they wanted to trade up for Breeland Speaks

  1. I mean isn’t every single trade up due to someone identifying that they want someone who they expect will be gone at their pick? Historically when teams fall in love with someone they overpay for them and they end up struggling in the future. They originally gave him a 3rd round grade, then thought they would have to use their second round pick, then decided they would have to use their 2nd AND 3rd on him. Seems like a very poor valuation process in KC land.

  2. As a Chiefs fan, I Like that our GM goes and gets the players he wants. Prior Chiefs GM’s would just let the player be drafted elsewhere and move on to the next player on the board. I prefer Veach’s approach.

  3. I am an Ole Miss guy. I love my Rebels, but even I was surprised they moved up to get my man Speaks. I think he would have been available for them in the third round. I’m happy they got him though. Hope he proves me and most others wrong on when it comes to where he should have been drafted. He is fun to watch for sure…

  4. Reid’s tenure with the Eagles was spotty when it came to trade ups. Jerome McDougle was a terrible bust. Shawn Andrews had a couple of good years, but turned out to be a basket case with a bad back. Maclin had a good career. It took years for Brandon Graham to produce in Philly – years after Reid was long gone. All in all, Reid is at best an okay GM. Certainly no savant.

  5. Love this approach. If someone really separates themselves from others in evaluations, go and get him if necessary and possible. The teams that passively sit there and watch players they love be taken just before their pick will fail in the end. The draft itself is a bit of a contest between teams, some GM’s get that, some don’t.

  6. ocgunslinger says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:33 am
    IF your name is not Bill Belichick then this is as good a drafting philosophy as any.
    ———————————–

    It’s Breeland Speaks not Breeland Cheats.

  7. Risky move. But no team takes a risk like that unless he’s gonna be a sure bet. Though judging by Andy Reid’s history with character….this kid could be a frequent visitor to Principal Goodells office.

  8. routerunning says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:48 am
    Love this approach. If someone really separates themselves from others in evaluations, go and get him if necessary and possible. The teams that passively sit there and watch players they love be taken just before their pick will fail in the end. The draft itself is a bit of a contest between teams, some GM’s get that, some don’t.

    ————————————————————–
    On one hand I admire the fact that they identify a player and go get them, but if being a lifelong football fan has taught me anything the draft is much more like a lottery than a science. The people/teams that have the most success are the ones with the most chips to play and a little luck (not andrew evidentially).

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and I wish the Chiefs well, but I’d rather have more players than trading so many picks for two guys.

  9. What’s the point of Veach’s self serving comments. “Look at me I had intel no one else had and I am smarter then the rest of the GM’s in the leagues”. How about you’re a moron for giving up a 3rd rounder to move up just 8 spots for a defensive lineman no less.

  10. cardsfann1 says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:46 am
    I am an Ole Miss guy. I love my Rebels, but even I was surprised they moved up to get my man Speaks. I think he would have been available for them in the third round. I’m happy they got him though.
    =================================================================
    No one knows what the draft boards of teams are and no one will ever know if he would still be available at 154 in the 3rd. To say he would have been available in the 3rd is just guessing.

  11. The Chiefs have given up a lot over the past 2 drafts to move up and get players. If these guys don’t pan out it’s going to set this franchise back a solid 3-5 years. If only there was a way to build a “dream team” around these guys and win now. Oh wait Andy Reid tried that once already….

  12. Most good playoff teams rarely move up to draft for need and stay in their slot to take the best athlete available. The Chiefs are the exception to this rule and that’s one of the reasons they don’t win playoff games

  13. Reid’s tenure with the Eagles was spotty when it came to trade ups. Jerome McDougle was a terrible bust. Shawn Andrews had a couple of good years, but turned out to be a basket case with a bad back. Maclin had a good career. It took years for Brandon Graham to produce in Philly – years after Reid was long gone. All in all, Reid is at best an okay GM. Certainly no savant.

    =========
    Reid doesn’t make the final decision like he does in Philly. He gives input, but Veach has the final say.

  14. rageviral says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:58 am
    The chiefs love a good reach. 1st Mahomes, now Speaks. The fans will be calling for Alex Smith by midseason.

    We were calling for Alex Smith, to leave town 2-3 years ago. Alex was incapable of winning a playoff game for the Chiefs. Mahomes will take our team to a new level an win in the playoffs. Take it to the bank.

  15. I wish I believed this… It seemed to me they were going up to get the CB that Green Bay then surprisingly took (the Packers had already drafted a top CB).

  16. I think the Chiefs are going to come to regret giving up all these picks to trade up. Trading up & giving up what they did for a project like Mahomes at 10 was dumb when they knew Darnold, Rosen, Mayfield, Allen and lower tier guys like Jackson/Rudolph would all be coming out this year.

  17. kcflake says:
    July 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm
    rageviral says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:58 am
    The chiefs love a good reach. 1st Mahomes, now Speaks. The fans will be calling for Alex Smith by midseason.

    We were calling for Alex Smith, to leave town 2-3 years ago. Alex was incapable of winning a playoff game for the Chiefs. Mahomes will take our team to a new level an win in the playoffs. Take it to the bank.

    ——-

    Same things Bengals fans used to say about Andy Dalton

  18. kcflake says:
    July 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    We were calling for Alex Smith, to leave town 2-3 years ago. Alex was incapable of winning a playoff game for the Chiefs. Mahomes will take our team to a new level an win in the playoffs. Take it to the bank.
    __________________________________________

    Except Ale did win a playoff game. Defensive collapses were to blame than Alex.

    That being said, I can’t wait to watch Mahomes each week.

    __________________
    allinstackme says:
    July 11, 2018 at 10:12 am

    They also haven’t been to an afccg in 20 years.
    ________________________________________________

    They also been through multiple coaches and three GM’s in that time frame.

    New regime, new strategy. No trakc record yet.

  19. BOTH of the guys drafted would have helped the Cowboys immensely but Jerrah remains enamoured with acquiring an aging earl thomas not adding good young players. He is gonna end up trading these draft picks anyway to acquire a guy on the downside. Earl Thomas WAS once great.

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