Isiah Pacheco is the 1,000-yard rusher that Chiefs GM Brett Veach foretold

Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach rebuilt the team into a championship squad in record time, and it’s in part due to the work he did in the 2022 NFL draft.

On Super Bowl Sunday, 9-of-10 of the Chiefs’ 2022 draft picks were active and played a snap. From first-round draft picks all the way down to their last pick in the seventh round, each player contributed to the effort to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again.

Ahead of the 2022 NFL draft, Veach made a bold prediction. He found himself dazzled by the depth of the running back class, so much so that he expected a 1,000-yard rusher to emerge from Day 3.

“The running back class this year, it’s really crazy,” Veach said in his pre-draft press conference in April. “When you factor in that COVID year last year, and some of the guys that stayed in school. I’ve never seen such a large group of fifth-, sixth-, seventh-round running backs. It’s like the names go from the top of the ceiling down to the bottom. I told the guys that there is going to be a 1,000-yard rusher that is a seventh-round pick, just by the sheer volume of numbers.”

At the time he said it, everyone was wondering which player he might be talking about. As it turns out, he was talking about the player he’d end up selecting at No. 251, Rutgers RB Isiah Pacheco.

After Super Bowl LVII’s victory, Pacheco had amassed a total of 1,027 rushing yards on the year. It ranked the third-most among all rookie running backs. His six touchdowns were the second-most scores among rookies. He also ranked fourth in the league in yards after first contact with 653 on the season.

It wasn’t just Veach’s clairvoyance in finding Pacheco, though. The rookie had to earn his stripes and had to work for this opportunity. While he appeared in all 17 regular-season games, Pacheco didn’t make his first start until Week 7. The team and especially Patrick Mahomes believed in him all along, but now as the dust settles following the Super Bowl, we know that Pacheco was exactly the player that Veach thought he would be.

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