|Draft May Yield WR Solution for KC|
WR Brandin Cooks Photo Russell Isabella USA Today
With multiple sources confirming Kansas City could be out of the DeSean Jackson sweepstakes, the receiver position for the Chiefs is going to be one to watch closely in the NFL Draft.
Two weeks ago the Kansas City Chiefs didn't want anything to do with former Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver, DeSean Jackson. But after his release on Friday, the Chiefs became the front-runner for his services. At one point, I'm sure contract numbers were discussed between the team and Jackson's agent but ultimately Head Coach, Andy Reid, decided against adding one of the best young receivers in the game today to his Chiefs roster.
So as it stands now, Jackson will visit the Washington Redskins on Monday bypassing the Chiefs and the other front-runner, the Oakland Raiders, as his free agent tour begins this week.
The fact so many teams were interested in Jackson, and ultimately passed, leads me to believe that Reid didn't like the Intel he'd received from the Eagles about the unraveling of Jackson this past season.
So now the Chiefs head into the 2014 season with a number of question marks at wide receiver, that could shape their fortunes on offense ultimately determining if they'll be pretenders or contenders this year.
That means a star must rise within the receiver ranks to make the latter more plausible.
Former All-Pro Wide Receiver, Dwayne Bowe, has delivered the goods on occasion but has never shown real consistency from one season to the next during his tenure in Kansas City. Add that, with some off-the-field legal issues that are still pending, the organization has to begin the process of ultimately finding his heir apparent. The Chiefs are in a favorable position after this season to cut Bowe should he fail to live up to expectations in 2014 or his legal troubles continue.
That makes the passing of Jackson a bit more perplexing by the Chiefs. But I'm sure Reid had his reasons to quell any reunion banter between he and his former second round draft pick.
As it stands now, the Chiefs will likely spend their first round pick on a wide receiver. Currently the Chiefs have some capable receivers on the roster but they're all wild cards heading into the season.
Then again, it should be noted, first round receivers generally take a year or two before they earn their lofty draft accolades and successfully make an offensive impact for their professional teams. Of course there are exceptions, but they are rare at the receiver position in the NFL.
Among the current crop of KC receivers, A.J. Jenkins, Junior Hemingway, Weston Dressler and Donnie Avery, none of them have that wow factor like the cache Jackson would have brought to the Chiefs.
Though I'm very high on Jenkins and Hemingway in particular, Dressler is an unknown to say the least and Avery is as inconsistent as Bowe. Both have a propensity to drop balls while the other two have shown the ability, when given the chance they can catch the ball with regularity. Thus if either Hemingway or Jenkins can step up their game, each has the potential to shine brightly in 2014.
Still that's a mighty big crapshoot for the Chiefs to take with a couple of third year receivers and that's why they should roll the dice with a receiver in the first round.
From all accounts, this draft will certainly produce some fine young receivers, such as Oregon State Receiver, Brandin Cooks. But the overall group consists of smaller speed merchants or slower possession receivers that have some height and girth. Don't get me wrong both are big needs for the Chiefs but they'll need time to get up to NFL speed in Reid's complex passing offense.
So where am I going with this banter?
It just seems to me the Chiefs are playing more for 2015 and a legit Super Bowl run than another wild card slot in 2014.
I hate to put forth a defeaters attitude before we even hit the first off-season workout. But the lack of impact moves in free agency, not making an effort to really sign Jackson, cap restrictions and a very tough schedule this season, that look ahead approach I'm hinting at might be best path for the organization to take.
Reid and General Manager, John Dorsey, have extreme job security so it would make my theory a pretty palatable one to swallow if you're a Chiefs fan. Kansas City still has to rid the roster of some players who still haven't bought into the new regime. We all saw some of them as the team unraveled over the final eight games after their brilliant 9-0 start.
The losing mentality that shredded this franchise to its bare bones in 2012 did make a recovery last season to finish a more than respectable 11-6. However, the roster is still void of finishers, ones who will never allow blowing a 28-point lead in the second half of a playoff game on the road.
So before we bash the Chiefs for passing on Jackson (at least for the moment), we should all take a deep breath and trust the new regime understands what they're doing now and for the future of our beloved franchise.
Because if we don't take on that mantra, we're going to spend the entire year second-guessing Reid and Dorsey and that's no place for any Chiefs fan to be considering we yet to hit the month of April.
But no matter how you feel at the moment, it's a safe bet Chiefs will likely choose a receiver with their first pick this May. To that end, let's hope they find the next DeSean Jackson or Otis Taylor because they need a replica of either one very badly to take their passing offense to a more consistent level.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Do think KC can find a stud receiver in round one?