The Kansas City Chiefs have a bit of a youth movement on the 53-man roster and it’s fueled by the 2022 NFL draft class.
Nine of the team’s draft selections from this past April made the initial 53-man roster in Kansas City. Only their final pick of the draft, Marshall DB Nazeeh Johnson, was released during roster cuts. Johnson is already back on the team’s practice squad, which is a good indication of what the team thinks of his ability as well.
Speaking to media members on Wednesday, Chiefs GM Brett Veach shared his thoughts on so many of the team’s 2022 NFL draft picks making the 53-man roster.
“I think the thing that surprises the most with this group is — and Steve (Spagnuolo) may have mentioned this a few press conferences ago — is how quickly they’ve been able to catch up to speed,” Veach said. “Usually, when you bring in a group of (draft picks) — and we had a big group this year — but usually when you bring in a rookie class, they’re all on a different timeline in regards to can they get up to speed and can they be in a position to help this team out. At what point will they (be ready) — a few weeks into the season? The halfway point?
“I think the one surprising thing is that the group as a whole, they’ve shown that they’ve been able to come in here and that the game isn’t too big for them. They fit athletically, skill-set wise and the coaches have shown that they’re willing to put their trust in them and to work them in. I think you guys have seen a lot of these young guys working in, not just playing-time-wise, but they’re working in with the first- and second-team and getting caught up to speed quickly.”
It’s rare to have so many draft picks contributing early, but every indication throughout training camp and the preseason has shown that the majority of this group is ready for the NFL game. They still have room for growth and improvement, but right now the team is very comfortable with the youthful talent they have on the field.
“So, I think It’s surprising to have such a big class and have the majority, if not all of them, show that they’re ready to go,” Veach continued. “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done with these guys and Steve (Spagnuolo), EB (Eric Bieniemy) and Coach (Andy) Reid would be the first ones to say we like where we’re at right now, but to get where we need to be there is still a lot of work ahead of us.”