In part one of The Chiefs: “Taking Care Of Business” Checklist, we looked at “Maintaining Special Teams Unit and Coach” as well as “Stopping the Run.” To read part one, go here.
The checklists we’ll be focusing on today include, “Wide Receivers Must Catch TD Passes” and “Making the Quarterback Position More Efficient.”
3. Wide Receivers Must Catch Touchdown Passes
Notice the title of this section does not have the word “better” in it. That’s because any TD reception by a Chiefs wide receiver would make 2015 a better year than 2014, and that’s not necessarily what we’re looking for. The Chiefs need “gloat loads” of TD passes from their WRs to excel next year, not only succeed but to help get the national media off of the backs Chiefs fans everywhere. Specifically, WR TDs will be needed in the playoffs, and opposing defenses must be made to take the Chiefs wide receiving corps seriously — and not just one WR — in order for other aspects of the offense to work, like their running game. Otherwise, the offense becomes uni-dimensional and oh-so-simple to stop, no matter how great RB Jamaal Charles is on any given Sunday. “Remember the Ravens Game” (a Lyle Graversen post) of Jan. 9, a 2011 playoff game vs. Baltimore, who doubled-teamed Dwayne Bowe all day and whipped the Chiefs 30-7 right in front of the home crowd. It’s another reason why you can expect the Chiefs to take at least one good WR in the upcoming draft. They made the mistake of passing on a top wideout in last year’s draft, and look how that turned out. Don’t expect them to make that same mistake two years running.
With at least one “drafted” high flying rookie WR, plus Jeremy Maclin, add the ascension of Albert Wilson and at least some production from 6-3, 215 lb, Da’Rick Rogers (or should we call him Da’Risk Rogers?), or add in 6-3, 211 lb, third-year man Armon Binns, plus solid but seldom used vet Jason Avant, and the Chiefs WR corps should be markedly better in 2015. And — spoiler alert — you can bet on the Chiefs going way out of their way to make sure the WR unit has a TD in the early moments of game one this coming season (on their first offensive play).
Level of Need Already FULFILLED for WRs Who Can Catch TDs: ✓ (one solitary checkmark thus far)
GM John Dorsey gets one check mark for signing WR Jeremy Maclin from the Eagles prior to the 2015 draft but must add another top wide receiving talent once he gets there. At least Maclin fits Reid’s offense better than Bowe from a pass-catching standpoint.
Wide Receiver Draft Day Considerations: Rounds 1-3 (the quality diminishes rapidly after rounds 3 or 4).
The Chiefs need to keep in mind that when they replaced Dwayne Bowe with Jeremy Maclin, they also lost some of Bowe’s ability to serve as an effective downfield blocker for Jamaal Charles. Consequently, the Chiefs will probably be looking at a bigger-bodied WR early in this draft. Someone like 6-2, 217 Jaelen Strong.
I have seen Strong make more than one sensational one-handed grab and I have often wondered why he’s not in the conversation about the top WR in this draft. Please check out Deadspin.com for a video of one of Strong’s one-handed TD catches, this one is against Notre Dame with the game tied.
I’d have no problem at all if the Chiefs draft him at #18.
Or the Chiefs could draft 6-2, 212 lb. Breshad Perriman (check out Perriman’s 51-yard Hail Mary TD catch as time is expiring) or possibly even 6-5 Dorial Green-Beckham (if he falls to the third round, where it seems more likely that the Chiefs would be willing to take a risk with him).
I love the basic idea of pairing Maclin with a WR like Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett because both have the ability to create their own space, to get open on their own, which would ultimately lead to more WR TDs. However, that pair may lose too much in the running game, size wise, to block effectively. Then again, Reid drafted and used wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson together in his offense in Philly and both of them are smallish receivers, and the Eagles’ run game didn’t appear to suffer any (however, he did have 6-3 Riley Cooper to help with that, too).
My prediction is a bigger-bodied guy will be in the mix.
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The Chiefs “Taking Care Of Business” Checklist