Chiefs turn trade happy in prospect pur­suit dur­ing draft

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY DAVE SKRETTA

The Kansas City Chiefs headed into the NFL draft last week with 10 se­lec­tions spread across seven rounds, the mas­sive haul due in large part to an abun­dance of com­pen­satory picks.

With a ros­ter re­turn­ing mostly in­tact, there was little chance they’d use all of them.

Gen­eral man­ager John Dorsey ag­gres­sively be­gan work­ing on trades even be­fore the draft be­gan. By the time things set­tled Satur­day, he’d pulled off four of the record num­ber of swaps in this year’s draft, choos­ing six play­ers he be­lieves will help Kansas City not only this sea­son but for sev­eral sea­sons to come.

“I tried to read as much as I could in terms of read­ing the other 31 teams and see where they were po­si­tion­ing,’’ he said af­ter pulling off his big­gest trade, send­ing two first-round picks and a third to Buf­falo to jump up 17 spots and se­lect quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes at No. 10 over­all on Thurs­day.

The next night, Dorsey sent a trio of picks to the Vik­ings to move into the third round and take Toledo run­ning back Ka­reem Hunt. The move ad­dressed one of the Chiefs’ big­gest weak­nesses last sea­son by bol­ster­ing their run­ning back corps with a record-set­ting prospect.

Then on Satur­day, Dorsey traded backup tight end James O’Shaugh­nessy and a six­thround pick to the Pa­tri­ots to jump into the fifth round and nab Ge­or­gia South­ern line­backer Ukeme Eligwe. The Chiefs then called the Vik­ings again and sent them their other two fifth-round picks to land in the fourth round and take Michi­gan wide re­ceiver Jehu Ches­son.

The net re­sult of all that deal­ing: a po­ten­tial fran­chise quar­ter­back, a run­ning back ca­pa­ble of play­ing im­me­di­ately, a line­backer to one day re­place vet­eran Der­rick John­son and a wide re­ceiver who could one day make life a whole lot eas­ier for Ma­homes.

“Just the way it goes,’’ Chiefs area scout Pat Sper­duto said. “Guys were get­ting plucked from all dif­fer­ent spots on the board. You just, like John says, ‘You let the board talk to you.’’’

The Chiefs picked two other play­ers with orig­i­nal se­lec­tions, de­fen­sive end Tanoh Kpas­sagnon from Vil­lanova in the sec­ond round and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia safety Leon McQuay III in the sixth round.

That makes six draftees from their orig­i­nal 10 picks, all likely to make the team.

This was the first year teams were al­lowed to trade com­pen­satory se­lec­tions, which are awarded to teams who lose key free agents. That was a big rea­son why there were so many swaps across the three days of the draft, and why the Chiefs had so many se­lec­tions to be­gin with.

They were awarded picks in the third and fourth rounds, and two more in the sixth round, af­ter los­ing cor­ner­back Sean Smith, quar­ter­back Chase Daniel, safety Tyvon Branch and of­fen­sive line­man Don­ald Stephen­son last off-sea­son.

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