General manager Brett Veach strikes again.
For the third time since the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chiefs will be without a pick in the first round.
That’s because Veach aggressively traded the No. 31 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to snag Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
The Chiefs acquired Brown, the Ravens’ 2021 second-round pick (No. 58 overall) and sixth-round pick in 2022 in exchange for their 2021 first-round pick, third round pick (No. 94), fourth-round pick (No. 136) and a 2022 fifth-round pick.
Now the Chiefs must pay Brown.
His four-year, $3.5 million rookie deal expires after the 2021 season.
It will cost them.
Since he plays tackle, he likely will make more than Joe Thuney, a guard who the Chiefs signed to a five-year, $80 million deal this offseason. That $80 million overall value and $18 million average is tied for ninth in the NFL among all offensive linemen.
Brown was the Ravens’ right tackle — and a good one at that — but he wanted to play left tackle and get paid like one. At that spot, though, the Ravens have one of the best game in Ronnie Stanley, who they signed to a five-year, $98.75 million contract in October.
That’s the second-most lucrative contract for an offensive lineman in terms of overall value.
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed Trent Williams, and he leads the way with a six-year, $138 million deal. (The Chiefs also made a play for Williams this offseason.)
The Chiefs are left with just two second-round picks, a fourth-round pick, two fifth-round picks and a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But the Chiefs sacrificed first-round picks in the 2018 draft (for Mahomes) and 2019 draft (for Frank Clark), and both moves obviously paid off.
And protecting the former asset is priority No. 1 after Mahomes was last seen running for his life in Super Bowl LV.
He ran an astounding 497 yards before throwing the ball, was hit eight times and was sacked three times during that loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown Jr. will help. The massive 6-8, 355 pounder is part of football lineage.
His father started 119 games for the Ravens and Cleveland Browns and tragically passed away at the age of 40 from complications of diabetes.
His son was an All-American at Oklahoma but slipped in the 2018 NFL Draft because of a terrible NFL Scouting Combine performance where he benched 225 pounds just 14 times and ran a slow 5.85 time — the second worst time among all tackles in the millennium — in the 40.
But he has started every game on a very good Ravens offensive line the last two years.
The assumption was that the Chiefs would target offensive tackle early in a 2021 NFL Draft that is loaded with them.
“The draft looks to be really talented on the offensive line,” Veach said before the draft. “I certainly like the way the draft is shaping up.”
Instead he went all in.
Veach and the Chiefs’ aggressive tactics have resulted in two straight Super Bowl appearances, and they’re betting that the trade for Brown bolsters their chances for a third.