Trading away Tyreek Hill wasn't going to alter the Kansas City Chiefs' plans in competing for a Super Bowl title, even if Hill's departure may have knocked Kansas City down the mountain a bit, toward the rest of their AFC competition.
The Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, so they're always going to be in the hunt. Kansas City is building its championship-caliber roster a different way than in years past.
"When you have Pat Mahomes, I think we're wired to go after it every year," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said at his pre-draft press conference Friday. "And even though you may make moves and you may trade really good players; it doesn't mean that there will be a counter punch in that we'll try to be aggressive in another way.
"I think you just have to be smart with what you do, and I think what's needed to do that is draft resources and cap space. Just because you trade away a great player doesn't mean we're in a rebuilding mode by any means. It just means we're going to find a new set of resources and try to become aggressive."
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Mahomes worked his contract in a way for the Chiefs to continue adding talent in free agency, which they did with wide receivers JuJu Smith Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, safeties Justin Reid and Deon Bush, running back Ronald Jones, and linebacker Jermaine Carter. Kansas City also has 12 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including two in the first round (No. 29 and No. 30) and two in the second round (No. 50 and No. 62). There's an opportunity to add more talent, or perhaps trade up and land an instant impact player for the championship window to continue.
"I think we've shown every indication of where we're going with this thing – we're going to build through the draft," Veach said. "Having 12 picks and having flexibility year-in and year-out is something that we're certainly putting a lot of stock in. Like I said, we're excited to add talent on both sides of the football and work through the draft and get young and get deep."
The Chiefs committed to revamping the offensive line last season. This year, wide receiver appears to be the primary focus with Hill's departure. Kansas City hit a home run in the draft with the offensive line last year (Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith) and is positioning itself to do the same at wide receiver.
"There are multiple ways we've scored points over the years. Would you like to find someone like Tyreek? Well, yeah. But I think every team would," Veach said. "If you don't, there's many ways to win games and our offense, I think, is extremely flexible, and I think a lot more flexible than what people think.
"I think for us and what we do, we're going to go out there and collect good players and they may not be 4.2 (40-yard dash) guys but they're good football players. We're going to put them in position to make plays and win a lot of games...We'll certainly always look to add skill and talent around Pat and look forward to doing that."