Chiefs eye Day 2 of NFL draft to begin shoring up roster

Veach, who took over last summer when John Dorsey was let go, has proven to be aggressive when it comes to trade draft picks. (AP)

The Chiefs' Brett Veach has been a part of plenty of drafts as a scout and front-office executive, yet Thursday night was unique in a couple of very important ways.

It was his first as the general manager. And he didn't have a first-round pick.

So after musing over trade possibilities that never got too serious, Veach decided to stand pat and head into the second round Friday night with three selections on Day 2. He is due to make his first choice at No. 54, followed by a third-round selection acquired from the Washington Redskins as part of the Alex Smith trade and another third-rounder eight picks later.

"Yeah, we feel pretty good about where the board is, how the numbers worked out. They never work out exactly," Veach said. "I think we're positioned to capitalize however it does play out."

Veach, who took over last summer when John Dorsey was let go, has proven to be aggressive when it comes to trade draft picks. He used them last offseason to acquire linebacker Reggie Ragland from Buffalo and offensive lineman Cam Erving from Cleveland, shoring up two crucial areas of need.

Now, he's poised to use those picks in a much more traditional manner.

The Chiefs have gaping holes across the defense, but primarily at cornerback and pass rusher. They traded their top cover man, Marcus Peters, to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this offseason, and the release of Tamba Hali and the injury history of Dee Ford makes outside linebacker a priority.

There are plenty of names on the board that could fill both of those spots.

Josh Jackson from Iowa is widely considered the top cornerback still available, a first-round talent that has slid into Day 2. But grabbing the ball-hawking Hawkeye could involve trading up, something that Veach said would be among the options he discussed with his staff later Thursday night.

"There'll be some initial dialogue tonight. Tomorrow, those teams that want to trade down will start shopping," he said. "They'll call teams trying to get an offer, shop an offer. You just have to see where you want to go or if you want to stay put."

If the Chiefs ultimately stay put, other cornerbacks to watch in Round 2 include Donte Jackson of LSU, Carlton Davis of Auburn and Isaiah Oliver from Colorado.

The top pass rusher still on the board is Boston College's Harold Landry, though he comes with an injury history that may be why he wasn't taken in the first round. Georgia's Lorenzo Carter has also been linked to the Chiefs, but the quality of edge rushers tails off dramatically after those two.

Kansas City could also use some help along the defensive line, and while Veach made a couple moves to add some pop to the offense, depth would be helpful at tight end, wide receiver and on the line.

"Your expectations are always for guys to come in and compete for starting job, or see a lot of playing time, and the higher you pick the more confident you are in those guys coming in," Veach said. "You hope those guys will come in and play right away, or be part of a steady rotation."

The Chiefs also have a pair of fourth-round selections, a sixth-round choice and two seventh-round picks as the result of all the dealing they've already done. Those picks, along with picks in next year's draft, give Veach the flexibility on Friday night to begin shoring up his roster.

"Tomorrow is always an interesting day because it's guys that teams thought would go in Round 1 - there's two or three that everybody thinks the same, and then it goes crazy, and you see the distinction between boards," Veach said. "Once you start getting into the 10th, 11th pick of the second round, that's when it gets wild, and that's when your board has to be tightened down."

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