Chiefs turn trade happy in prospect pursuit during draft
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.