The first player to test Chiefs general manager Brett Veach’s preference for patience or aggression in the NFL Draft is officially under contract.
The Chiefs signed second-round pick Breeland Speaks on Thursday, hours after the conclusion of organized team activities (OTAs).
Absent a first-round pick in 2018, Speaks stands as the top prize of the team’s draft class. The Chiefs traded up eight spots to select him with the 46th overall pick.
He has made a quick impression during the initial week of OTAs.
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“Love his effort. He’s got some natural ability, a good feel for things,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “And then he’s coming out and working hard. He’s learning. All these young kids are learning. That’s what’s great about this camp.”
Speaks, 22, had 67 tackles and seven sacks while primarily serving as a defensive end for Mississippi in 2017.
After drafting Speaks last month, Veach complimented his physical play and ability to power rush the passer. He graded well in his 40-yard dash (4.87 seconds) at the NFL combine. The Chiefs plan to line him out at outside linebacker, a spot occupied by Justin Houston, Dee Ford and second-year pro Tanoh Kpassagnon.
“You’ve got to affect the quarterback, and we looked at it as the last opportunity to affect the quarterback,” Veach said.