Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
A positive weekend unfortunately has to have some losers too.
The welcome distraction that was the 2020 NFL draft is now in the books.
With it, the Kansas City Chiefs introduced six new players to the Chiefs Kingdom: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Willie Gay, Lucas Niang, L’Jarius Sneed, Mike Danna and BoPete Keyes.
The draft always has an impact on other players on the team. Here are the people most likely impacted by the draft — for better or for worse.
- Brett Veach: After the disaster that was the 2018 draft, Veach has now put together two consecutive draft classes that have been well-received locally, nationally and internationally. He managed to draft five players at five positions of need without giving up a single asset. (Alll right… so he finally did give up a 2021 sixth-round pick to trade back into the draft and select BoPete Keyes). Even with that move, the Chiefs’ future is in safe hands.
- Andy Reid: The head coach finally gets to open up his playbook — now that he has a do-it-all running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He’s the type of player Reid hasn’t had since Kareem Hunt.
- Damien Williams: Despite the addition of Edwards-Helaire, Andy Reid has already given the impression that he plans to use both Williams and Edwards-Helaire next season. Williams has managed to look after himself, because he has never carried the ball more than 111 times in a single season. Edwards-Helaire will be the guy that makes sure this continues.
- Patrick Mahomes: You know you’ve been given the keys to the franchise (and the city) when your general manager is calling you up hours before the draft asking who you’d like to see drafted.
- Steve Spagnuolo and Matt House: The defensive coordinator and linebackers coach must be pinching themselves — now that they have an athletic WILL linebacker like Willie Gay Jr. to work with.
- Byron Pringle: A new receiver could have spelled the end for Byron Pringle in Kansas City. Instead, Pringle appears to have a place in the wide receiver room in for the foreseeable future.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Willie Gay, Lucas Niang, L’Jarius Sneed, Mike Danna and BoPete Keyes: They’ve just been drafted by the Super Bowl champions.
- Sports fans, ESPN and the NFL: The draft provided a much-needed break from society’s current state. Considering the challenges that would come with a virtual draft, it must be said that ESPN and the NFL did a fine job in allowing us to escape from reality for a few days.
- Kansas City’s fireworks sellers: It was only in January that Arrowhead Stadium ran out of fireworks after the Chiefs scored seven touchdowns in one game. If the Chiefs offense improves as much as many are expecting after they drafted Edwards-Helaire and Lucas Niang, seven touchdowns might become a regular occurrence.
- Fans of Andy Reid’s shirt collection:
Andy Reid. In a Hawaiian shirt. With an elliptical in the background. And not pictured: A donkey painting over the fireplace.
The NFL Draft is undefeated. Never lost. pic.twitter.com/iuXnFJvaEi
— Brendan Sonnone (@BSonnone) April 24, 2020
- Eric Fisher: Although the expectation is for Lucas Niang to be kicked inside this season, the Chiefs may decide to move him back outside to tackle in 2021. If he is capable, the team gives itself the option of moving on from Eric Fisher. If they do decide to release the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chiefs would free up $11.5 million in cap room.
- NFL defensive coordinators: It’s already hard enough to stop the Chiefs. Now they have to worry about a running back that amassed over 1,850 scrimmage yards in his final year at LSU.
- Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams and DeAndre Washington: Before the draft, all of these players might have been regarded as locks to make the final 53. However, the selection of Edwards-Helaire threw a spanner in the works. This is the camp battle we will all be keeping an eye on, as we expect these three players to be fighting for the third and fourth spots in the running back room.
- Analytics guys: Running back value had been the hot topic of Chiefs Twitter in the final days leading up to the draft. Both sides of the argument made compelling points and wondered whether or not the Chiefs would take a running back in the early rounds. Ultimately, Brett Veach and Andy Reid went with their gut despite what the analytics said.
- Dustin Colquitt: Now that the offense could become even more potent, the need for a top-tier punter may be negated. The Chiefs could save themselves $2 million if they part ways with their longtime punter.
Who are your Chiefs’ winners and losers from the NFL Draft?