Chiefs Offseason Priority #1: Find A WR

SmokeSignals

The Chiefs largely fought a good game against the Denver Broncos, but came up just short in a few key areas.

The most glaring shortcoming in the game was at wide receiver, and I think it solidified that position as the team’s top need after this season is over.

With six games left to play, WR Dwayne Bowe leads the group with an uninspiring 37 catches for 426 yards. Donnie Avery is the only other Chiefs receiver with more than 400 yards and Dexter McCluster is the only one in the group that has broken 30 catches on the year.

True, HC Andy Reid’s West Coast offence involves a lot of high-percentage plays to running backs and tight ends, but the Chiefs saw in Denver that they really need consistency among their wideouts to keep up in shootouts.

At the moment, Bowe is putting on the sort of show everyone feared – give him financial security and watch the effort disappear. In the Bronco’s game, he fought just hard enough for QB Alex Smith to force it to him every now and then, but he’s not doing enough. Thirty-seven catches on 72 targets from a QB with renowned accuracy. Enough said.

Avery, the team’s only true speed receiver is able to get open but makes more critical drops than big plays.

McCluster is a guy I’ve always wanted to like more than his play warranted. In his 3rd season, he has the look of a career #4 receiver.

After those three, the Chiefs have developmental prospects Junior Hemmingway, A.J. Jenkins and Kyle Williams — a 7th-round pick and two castaways from a 49ers team that is short on receiving options.

It’s popular to blame the quarterback when the passing game falters and Alex Smith’s statline certainly warranted

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

skepticism last week – 46.7% completion percentage and a QBR of 25.5. But, PFF had him graded positively and said, “the biggest shame was that his receivers (four drops, three of them critical) couldn’t make the catches to give Smith that stat to go with his excellent throws.”

Going into this game, the Chiefs’ game plan of wicked defense and stable offense was enough to get a “W” every week. But QB Peyton Manning showed what elite quarterbacks can do to good defenses. He was getting the ball out of his hands in just over 2 seconds. It doesn’t matter how good your pass rush is if the QB is able to get the ball out that quickly. They just won’t get there in time. If the team also has a plethora for receiving options, then you can’t count on your secondary to have absolutely everyone covered – especially in the man-to-man schemes that DC Bob Sutton likes to run.

There are two pieces of good news in all of this. The first is that with the Chiefs assuredly picking towards the end of the first round, they’ll have lots of good value picks at wide receiver. There’s even a good chance that a guy like Texas A&M’s Mike Evans or Clemson’s Sammy Watkins will be available.

The other silver lining in this is what it says about where the team is in terms of development. Bad teams go into the draft looking to build the foundation of the franchise in the first couple of rounds. Good teams are looking to tack on weapons for their next playoff run.

The Chiefs are finally in the latter camp.

Topics: 2014 Draft, Broncos, Denver, Draft, Kansas City Chiefs, Playoffs, Prospects, Wide Receivers

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  • toperspective

    Team also needs to determine who is the long term option at QB. AS is ok but he’s not a franchise QB. It will be devastating if they give him an extension.

    • Aaron Martin

      I truly believe that Andy can make a very good QB out of Bray and he will be good for the long term. He has some unbelievable talent, just needs to mature. He will throw the deep passes we want!!

    • ondgo247

      I think Smith could do a great job…problem as this story states, no one is catching or playing inspired. We could have a marquee QB and still will have the same problem…point blank.

      • toperspective

        So do you think he is the long term solution at QB for the Chiefs? Soon they are going to need to decide whether they will sign him to an extension. Are you good if they plan on having AS as QB through 2018?

        • Michael Shaw

          top, to be honest I think Aaron is dead on here. I think we will start to see Bray next year start pushing for the starting QB job. Alex is the QB for this year and likely next year. After that, you may see Bray start as the QBOTF for this team. He has a gun of an arm is smart in the pocket and needs to groom behind someone like Alex and Chase. It doesn’t matter right now who the QB is. The line is not blocking very well as a whole and the WR’s we have right now drop more balls than they seem to catch. And usually they catch one’s they should really drop and drop one’s the team really needs them to catch. They are not clutch receivers who catch the ball when we need the play the most. Bowe has skills, but he was a better player last year before the big contract signing. He has since lost his hunger, except of course when he is smoking weed, but that isn’t the type of hunger we need him to have!!!!

          • toperspective

            I haven’t seen Bray play much but the consistent thread is great arm, questionable mental approach. That’s why he wasn’t drafted in spite of his obvious passing skills.

          • Michael Shaw

            The line I remember was that he was too sure of himself and unteachable because of his arrogance. He has a great arm and can read a defense, which is what I was really trying to say. His problem is that his “mental” makeup reminds people of one Ryan Leaf…………..which he can and seems to want to out grow.

          • toperspective

            It can’t get any worse than a comparison with Ryan Leaf. The best talent in the world can’t overcome a knucklehead. People with that kind of mental make up rarely change.

          • Michael Shaw

            Normally I would agree 100%, but the buzz out of preseason was that the guy that got dissed in the draft was not the same guy that came to the Chiefs during the preseason. That and the fact that he replaced Stanzi tells me that they see something in him.

          • toperspective

            Well, it’s not unheard of to have an undrafted QB become a star. Moon, Warner and Romo are three that come to mind.

          • micah stephenson

            Woooooow! Lol. Why do our fans settle for other teams rejects or undrafted bums for our QB? Time to raise the standards!

  • Griffin Gatewood

    I think Kelce not playing thus far has hurt the Chiefs the most.

  • Dan

    Mario Manningham is a free agent 2014 familiar with Alex could be an option plus as I have said a million times Jeremy Maclin is going to be a KC Chief 2014 from the Eagles. Chiefs go OLINE again 1st round draft and possibly the 3rd as well and wont draft a wr till late with the acquisitions from FA

    • Auburn78

      If Chiefs do nab Maclin in FA…. then I wouldn’t mind seeing every pick be Oline. That’s how bad I feel they’ve played. Maybe we can land a honest to gawd starter at C and LG and get decent depth behind everyone. If we don’t resign Albert we may be picking Oline again regardless.

      • Michael Shaw

        I don’t think Albert has earned the big contract he has asked for. Not sure where to go to find out, but I would like to know how many times AS has had to run from that side of the line because of lackluster play by Albert. He almost seems to me to have the “here’s what you get for not paying me” type of mindset. Or I could just be reading too much into his play.

        • Auburn78

          Oh I agree, and I think we should be able to get him much cheaper than we would have. If not it’s not worth it. … not when he was asking for top 10 tackle money. He’s shown that he’s not an elite tackle. But if we let him go. …. are you ok with Fisher manning the left side? Or Stephenson?;;Lots of questions this offseason….and revolve around wr and ol

      • micah stephenson

        We have TWO 1ST RD pick at tackle, a 2nd rd pick at guard, and a 3rd rd pick at guard and center. Draft a 3rd 1st rd tackle before drafting a QB? Its not very often you draft guards and centers 1st rd but with Alex at QB I can see why you wud want 5 1st rd picks on the oline.

        • Auburn78

          Well I would only pick up a tackle in the 1st if Albert isn’t resigned. But replacing Allen had got to be our #2 priority after a #1 wr

          • micah stephenson

            Uh no. Qb 1st. Wr 2nd. Guard after QB and wr.

          • Auburn78

            No….talent and effort makes a wr #1. Chiefs will not pick a QB with the amount we have invested in Smith and Daniels, especially not with most people assuming Reid has what it takes to make Bray a top qb. No we need a #1 wr….. no Chiefs QB has thrived with Bowe as our top guy. And let’s be honest Reid does not run a offense that is beneficial to Bowes skill set. We need guys that run crisp routes and better hands. Bowe has neither.

          • micah stephenson

            That contract bowe signed makes him our number 1.

  • Maryanne Kays

    We need WR and a QB who can throw downfield with accuracy. Until, we do the other teams will continue to crowd the line and stop Jamal Charles!

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      Smith had a lot of downfield throws against the Broncos that were on the money. They were dropped. PFF counts balls that hit the hands of receivers “catches” for the purposes of grading QB’s and according to them, Smith has a 45.5% accuracy rate on passes longer than 20 yards. That’s among the best in the league. Another nice downfield pass was eliminated due to a penalty. I think Smith probably did enough to keep the Chiefs in the game against the Broncos, but it takes two to tango.

      • toperspective

        Considering he’s only thrown 22 passes over 20 yds I’m not sure that stat means much.

        • berttheclock

          PFF graded him a plus 1.6. They graded the ALL WORLD Peyton at a minus 1.3.

          • toperspective

            So you really think AS was the better QB in that game? Stats have value but they can be wildly misleading. 2.7 seconds. Average time to pass for Peyton. Called a masterful game and completely negated the Chiefs pass rush. Please find any football insider that thought AS was the superior QB in that game.

          • Nigerdeath50500

            Smith threw 2 TD passes while Manning only threw 1 so yeah..

          • micah stephenson

            Manning had 100 yards passing more than Alex and the win so yeah

          • micah stephenson

            Ikr! Why do he keep wasting his time posting that stat like the 2 are comparable?

  • kcchiefinlv

    QB is fine. WR’s are fine other than a #4. Chad Hall wasn’t the answer and we had to go back and pick him up 1 week after releasing him. We need O-linemen. Fisher will eventually move to LT. The verdict is still out on whether or not the O-line will gel with time. They are young. With a better O-line, you’ll see Smith hooking up with receivers.

  • Horace Lee Madre Jr

    TE,TE,TE! Alex Smith needs a Vernon Davis type TE. Kelce hasn’t played a f’n snap that has counted. We’re done with fine china TE’s. We need guys who fight for the ball on the edges and durable over the middle guys who have GOOD hands. There’s not excuse. These days defenders aren’t allowed to hit anymore so why pay a guy millions to get hurt while dropping the damn ball!

  • micah stephenson

    What good is a big time wr when you don’t have a QB? What happen to this is a bad QB draft and we can get a QB next yr? Then when next yr comes, its we can get 1 next yr. How many Wrs and olinemen have we drafted 1st rd sinse we drafted a QB?

  • GDL40

    I think the main focus should be finding a QB …… put Bowe, Avery, and McCluster with Manning, Brady, Rodgers, M. Ryan, D. Brees, even Romo, P. Rivers, or Flacco ….. and it would be a different story. Bowe was still putting up good #´s with the crappiest QB´s around, with Smith, nothing …..

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