The Kansas City Chiefs are pretty well set at a number of their starting positions but one crucial area that remains up in the air is returning kicks.
In recent years, CB Javier Arenas has handled the bulk of the punt return duties. While Arenas often turned in a very good average, he never managed to return a kick for a touchdown.
As for kickoff returns, in 2012, Shaun Draughn returned 23 kicks, with Arenas, Devon Wylie and Josh Bellamy chipping in.
With Arenas gone and a new coaching staff in town, let’s take a look at the candidates to be the Chiefs’ return man/men in 2013.
Wylie got some work last year, returning nine kickoffs and five punts. He averaged 21.2 yards on kicks and a poor 5.2 on punts. Wylie’s attributes here is his speed. He was a very effective return man in college but his small size makes him easy to bring down at the NFL level. As you can see in the video below, Wylie can be quite effective if given solid blocking.
Draughn got more chances to return kicks than anyone not named Arenas in 2012. He fielded 23 kicks with an average of 23. He is a holdover from the previous coaching regime and I’m not even sure he will make the team.
Davis is the new kid on the block. The Chiefs took him in the third round of the draft so they obviously think they will be able to use Davis effectively.
Drafting a RB that high seems to indicate that Andy Reid was less than thrilled with what he saw on tape from the backup RBs in 2012. Davis certainly has the speed to return the ball but considering his injury and fumbling issues, Reid may want to avoid putting Davis in the return game.
It seems like every season there is a mystery to just how McCluster will be used. He is the man who last returned a punt for a TD for the Chiefs but that was back in 2010. McCluster faces the same problems as Wylie as a return man. He’s fast but small.
McCluster’s roll on special teams could be determined by just how effective he is as a receiver/gadget man in Reid’s offense.
Avery could be an option to return kicks but if Andy Reid wants him to be the team’s #2 receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe, the head coach may not want to wear him out.
What do you think, Addicts? Is KC’s return man on this list or will someone else emerge this offseason?