Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

What To Expect From The Kansas City Chiefs Receivers

Many Kansas City Chiefs fans were appalled when the Chiefs did not select a wide receiver in the draft. It was said by many of the experts that this draft was particularly deep at multiple positions, including wide receiver. According to several mock drafts around the web, it seemed to be that the Chiefs were eyeing Brandin Cooks or maybe Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately, these two guys were already off the board by the time Kansas City was on the clock, but there was still some talent left to take a look at in Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin. The Chiefs opted for a different route, obviously.

The Chiefs did end up picking Oregon star De’Anthony Thomas, and the jury is still out on where he will be seeing playing time the most, WR or RB. He is listed at running back on the team’s website, but there are still people who expect to Thomas to fill the absence of a slot receiver that Dexter McCluster left on this roster. Aside from Bowe and Thomas, people are wondering how much playing time the other receivers may see.

The Chiefs’ leading receiver in 2013 wasn’t even a receiver; it was Jamaal Charles. Dwayne Bowe struggled mightily most of the season, but ended up surpassing the 50 receptions mark and ended up with 57 catches on the year. The next guy closest that is still on the roster right now is Donnie Avery, who showed flashes of excellence, but overall struggled with drops and was just inconsistent. The next three leading players in receptions were two tight ends and then a full back. The glaring need is obvious.

The Chiefs need that number two guy that they can go to when Dwayne Bowe is receiving double, or even, triple coverage from opposing defenses. Jamaal Charles was the security blanket for Alex Smith throughout last season, which is not a bad thing at all, but sometimes Charles needs to take a break from getting tackled. The Chiefs have five guys that are going to be thrust into a position battle when training camp opens, Donnie Avery, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins, Frankie Hammond Jr., and Weston Dressler.

Donnie Avery averaged 2.5 receptions per game as the number two wide receiver on the depth chart, however he continues to be plagued with dropping easy passes to him which is what Chiefs fans are growing more tired of as Bowe has had the same problem throughout his career. Avery is a veteran in this league and made some huge plays for this team in 2013, yet there is still a lot to be desired from Avery. I doubt this will happen, but I would not be surprised at all if we see Avery’s name on the cut lists at some point in training camp. He needs to prove to everyone that he can be a viable target in this team’s offense.

The Chiefs front office and coaches seem to believe that former first round pick A.J. Jenkins can be the number two guy. The Illinois product never really got his shot in San Francisco and wasn’t on the Chiefs roster all season last year so may have been still adjusting to everything even when he was on the field. With a year under Jenkins’ belt, I strongly believe that after this year we will know what we are going to get out of Jenkins. Jenkins accumulated eight receptions, six of which came in two of the team’s 16games. Watching his college highlights, I can tell that the talent is there, obviously since he was taken in the first round, but it has yet to be seen on an NFL field. Jenkins is going to have to show some of that same skill that he showed in college if he wants to remain on this team when the 2015 season rolls around.

Junior Hemingway is a guy I am big on. He is a straight gamer when it comes to playing special teams and has shown flashes of skill when he has been on the field as a receiver. Hemingway gives the Chiefs another big body alongside Bowe which is becoming more and more important in this league as big receivers are becoming the norm. Hemingway has decent speed to go along with that size and is a good redzone target when he plays in the slot. I really hope to see him get more of a shot on the field in 2014. In Week 17 when the Chiefs were playing their second stringers, Hemingway was the leading receiver with five receptions and went for 45 yards. Let me remind you, he was playing against the Chargers first team defense since they were playing for a playoff spot so that tells me that Hemingway can play in this league when backup QB Chase Daniel is throwing him the ball so just imagine what he can do for a full season with Smith throwing the ball to him.

Hammond Jr. and Dressler may be just guys on the practice squad at the end of the day. I loved what I’ve seen out of Hammond Jr. in last preseason and can see him as a wildcard guy to come in and steal someone’s spot on the depth chart. He is another 6’1 guy, but possesses great speed so that tells you why he was kept around all last season despite being an undrafted free agent signing. Dressler is an unknown to me as I have watched very little tape on him, but my mindset on him is that he’s small so what role will he play on this team when we already have a small guy on this roster in Thomas now? I see Dressler as a possible cut or put on practice squad when training camp is all said and done.

The two guys I think that can impact this team the most are Jenkins and Hemingway, but it’s only a matter of time before we see if that is true or not. This team has several targets on offense outside of the receiver position, Charles, Thomas(?), Fasano, McGrath, Kelce, and even Anthony Sherman, but receiver is an important position in almost every offensive scheme so we need to see something out of these guys in 2014.

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Tags: A.J. Jenkins De'Anthony Thomas Dwayne Bowe Junior Hemingway Kansas City Chiefs

  • A1 Yola

    D. Bowe shows up this year. If for nothing else but money. If the Chiefs plan on releasing him before next season, He wants to show another team what He can do.

  • chief4ever

    Totally agree on Hemmingway ! Give Jenkins and Hemmingway shot at #2…..Junior : 6’1″ , 225 lbs and ran 4.48 at the combine in 2013….good hands at Michigan….like him and A.J. as # 2 with Dressler, Avery and Albert Wilson as slot options (I still would like to see D’Anthony as return specialist ) Go Chiefs !

    • codger

      Love Hemmingway. Special kind of football attitude and seems to be very clutch. Good blocker and good teammate. Don’t know if he can be a Frank Pitts but he has that kind of grit.

  • Roger Mihalko

    With 13 DB’s on the roster now, and the chiefs being weak at WR I think someone in camp should take a look at Vernon Kearney, 6.2 and 185lbs, 4.4 speed. He was a Wideout in college and converted to DB. He brings height and speed we don’t have on the outside. I wouldn’t be opposed to him going ironman and playing free Safety and Wideout…he is perfect size and speed for a Free Safety.

    Bowe cant separate, Avery cant catch, we have no one in the slot right now, No one knows if jenkins is smart enough to play the position… Kelce is a question mark, Fasano gets hurt when he sneeze’s so we have:

    JC, Hemmingway, and The Beard as our receiving Corps.

    I think Hemmingway is the cheap alternative to Bowe, younger and basically the same size and speed. We add Vernon as one of the two tall fast receivers we need and make it a trio, give AS some targets to throw too.

    Im sure there will be cast off UDFA’s and a few Veterans all receivers in the 6.2 or taller category with 4.5 or better speed, pick one or two up for depth and cut the rest.

    If we luck out and Kelce shows up, and that other basketball playing tight end from last years camp, with the beard we are set. ( if kelce shows, send fasano on his way)

    • codger

      Bowe does get separation. Look at his production. His strength is probably in the slant and he doesn’t get that as much in this offense, but expect to see more of it if Kelce can come through.
      Separation is also a function of how you are played and he is consistently doubled, so take that into account.

  • Alan Craig

    Last year WR Keenan Allen was considered 1st round choice before he had knee injury. He dropped to 3rd round, Chiefs passed on him and Chargers drafted Allen. Allen was top rookie WR and outplayed many veterans. Last year Chiefs receivers were considered one of worst in NFL. This year Chiefs passed on WR Marquise Lee who had more catches, yardage, and TDs than WR Watkins in their 3 years. He dropped to 2nd round because of similar knee issues as Allen the year before. Other then Bowe non of the receivers are legit starters for a playoff team.

    • Blaize Richardson

      Looking at the Playoff teams from last year, I have to disagree with you. For one we made the playoffs last year, so it’s ridiculous to say that none of our receivers are starters for a playoff team, when last year they were just that. Plus I believe our receiving corps are better than the Panthers, who were a playoff team and are pretty even with the receiving corps of the 49ers, Patriots, and Chargers, all playoff teams last year.

      Also your comparison of Keenan Allen and Marquise Lee doesn’t really hold up, because Allen’s big deal was injuries. That’s why he fell. Lee’s big deal was a small frame, slower speed than you’d like from a player his size, a less than stellar last year in college, and injury concerns. Lee has a lot of question marks to say the least.

      • Alan Craig

        You completely missed on Allen and Lee. Allen had knee injury and ran poorly in pre draft tryouts but was healthy for season and outplayed Bowe with his 71 1046 8. Lee had knee and other nagging leg injuries all during the season like Allen. Lee has run a 4.41 forty so speed isn’t a problem just watch his highlights. There are dozens of smaller framed receivers in NFL like Hilton, Welker, and Jackson just to name a few. With the possible exception of Bowe, Lee will outperform all the rest of Chiefs receivers. Except for Bowe, no Chief WR/TE would make Niner roster Lucky for Chiefs that Smith is use to playing with mediocre WR group like he had 2011 with Niners.

        • Blaize Richardson

          His official 40 time was 4.52. He’s not slow don’t get me wrong, but with his smaller frame, if we were to draft a guy like him in the first round I would expect him to be a little bit faster and to play a little faster as well. You mention Ty Hilton and Desean Jackson in your comparison, but they both ran in the 4.3s. That sort of thing matters when you’re that type of receiver (I’m not even going to bother with the Welker comparison, because they’re completely different types of receivers).

          Keenan Allen was a better prospect than Lee in my opinion. Teams were only scared away from Allen, because of injuries. There’s a plethora of reasons why teams were scared away from Lee and I don’t think it was all injury issues. Don’t get me wrong, I think Lee could develop into a solid NFL player, but I’d be downright shocked if he ever becomes a superstar and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he totally busts.

          • Alan Craig

            Chief’s Thomas official time was 4.50 but nobody believed he wasn’t faster because of film on him. Now they have given him an adjusted time of 4.43 for combine which is same adjusted time for Lee. Heyward-Bay ran a 4.30 at combine and made 1st round and 1st WR. Never in his film in college or pros did we see that speed. But you do see Thomas and Lee show that speed on film. Actually, Lee was a better prospect than Allen and was considered top WR from last year too. In his rookie year he will show Dorsey what a big mistake it was to pass on him.

  • micah stephenson

    Well when you look at Ass11′s stats, he prolly won’t throw for over 3350 yards, so when you devide that up between the wrs, that’s not very many yards to go around. If we had a top flight QB, I might expect more from our wrs.

  • Tony Parker

    Dressler will end up proving you wrong, he will make the team and have 5-6 TD’s this year.

  • Eric Reeves

    “Dressler is an unknown to me as I have watched very little tape on him, but my mindset on him is that he’s small so what role will he play on this team when we already have a small guy on this roster in Thomas now? I see Dressler as a possible cut or put on practice squad when training camp is all said and done.”

    Sounds like an admission of pure ignorance and laziness as a sports journalist for writing off an exceptional player because he didn’t feel like putting in some research. The tape is out there! Only a Google away!

    Dressler offers some serious potential as an intellectual route runner with great agility, decent speed, and clutch concentration coupled up to a pair of gecko feet! This is the guy you want on the field alongside Charles, Davis, Hemingway, Thomas, and Kelce (if he can stay healthy) on a third down!

    Another factor to consider is the special teams game. We list one phenomenal return specialist in McCluster and gained at two more in turn with De’Anthony Thomas and Weston Dressler.

    It seems obvious that Andy Reid has connections in all the small books and crannies of the CFL, Arena, even Canadian college ball as evident by our last pick this year. He has a nack for recognizing and developing talent, and with a proven case like Dressler (albeit not on an NFL level), alongside the fact that Dressler’s signing was one of our first, if not the first off season lockdown, I’d say he will be fit into a scheme or two effectively this season.

    Don’t sell this 2x CFL All-star, 4x CFL West All-star, 2008 CFL Rookie of the Year, 2003 High School Player of the Year, 2008 fan selected most popular CFL player and last years member of the current Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Rougriders, SHORT!

    Last thing then off my soap box, it seems to me that Andy Reid has focused more importantly on players who possess intellect and critical thinking skills as well as those who are passionate about being part of our organization so that we can build a trusting football family in Kansas City that will possess the drive to push ourselves toward that February game!

  • codger

    DBowe is a stud. He is underappreciated by many fans, and maybe he isn’t earning ALL of his money but he deserves a bunch. The guy is putting it out there every game. He gets doubled and whacked around every game and he keeps on coming. All Chiefs fans have to do to appreciate DBowe is take a look at what a “stud” draft choice like, can’t miss, Jon Baldwin, performed. I don’t want to hate on Baldwin, but good grief, drafting a WR with measureables is not always going to work out, but DBowe is there, every game, every play. And, he can put a snot bubbler on Von Miller in the running game and that makes me very very happy.