Chiefs GM Brett Veach’s reaction to first-round picks by AFC West rivals

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Charles Goldman
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The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t make a draft pick on Day 1, but each of their AFC West rivals did.

The Denver Broncos took Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II at No. 9 overall, the Los Angeles Chargers took Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater at No. 13 overall and the Las Vegas Raiders took Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood at No. 17 overall.

Speaking to the media shortly after the conclusion of the first round, Chiefs GM Brett Veach fired from the hip, talking about the picks made around the AFC West.

“I think those teams were probably following their board and taking the best players available,” Veach told reporters. “As you mentioned, Surtain, one of the top corners in the draft, and it wasn’t surprising from a former defensive coordinator as the head coach there, but a great player. And Las Vegas and L.A. going on the offensive line, good value there. I think teams are probably just staying true to the board, taking the best player available, but all those teams took some good players and I look forward to that competition with those guys.”

Overall, Veach didn’t seem to think that there were many “real surprises” in the first round. He’d have you believe that it went exactly how he and his staff had expected it to go. That seems to be especially true in the AFC West, though.

Others haven’t been as kind as Veach when it comes to weighing in on AFC West picks. Luke Easterling of Draft Wire named the Raiders’ selection of Leatherwood one of the biggest reaches of the first round. The Broncos have caught a ton of flak from fans and analysts alike for passing on Justin Fields in favor of Surtain. Meanwhile, the Chargers have been receiving near-universal praise for their pick of Slater. Former Chiefs RT Mitchell Schwartz even weighed in on the pick and how good it was.

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