Chiefs free agency: James Jones and Jermaine Gresham

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Defense has been a buzzword for the Kansas City Chiefs since the offseason program began. A number of highly-regarded pundits, both local and national, believe it to be a Top 3 unit. Just last year Kansas City fielded the league’s second-best scoring defense (17.6 points per game). It’s no surprise they’ve been the focus of Chiefs Kingdom over the past three months.

Conversely, the offensive side of the football is another issue entirely. Sure, they’ve added Jeremy Maclin on the heels of his best NFL season. They also drafted one of the most athletic wide receivers in the 2015 draft class (Chris Conley). Paul Fanaika and two-time Pro Bowler Ben Grubbs have joined the offensive line ranks. It’s not at all unreasonable to think the Chiefs will be an improved offense over last season, but it’s still unclear if they have enough weapons to play competitively in December and January.

While improved, there are still a few unsettled issues with Kansas City’s offense. The No. 2 wide receiver spot will be hotly contested over the summer, but mostly by unproven commodities. Last year, undrafted rookie Albert Wilson showed signs of promise late in the season. He amassed 209 receiving yards between Weeks 14-16 and matured into a viable third option in the passing game. He’s likely to lead the way as the top candidate for the job, but he’s also compiled enough NFL tape to get the attention of defensive coordinators in his sophomore season. The Kansas City coaching staff has hopes that a full year in the system will aid Wilson’s growth, but it’s possible that he won’t make enough progress to have a quantifiable effect on the offense in year two.

It’s also unclear which tight end will play opposite of new starter Travis Kelce. Richard Gordon and Demetrius Harris have seven years of combined NFL experience, but just seven career catches between them. I’d venture to guess that few people were concerned about the departure of Anthony Fasano, but I think it could have a more significant impact on the offense than previously thought. Draftee James O’Shaughnessy has the tools to be an excellent complement to Kelce (eventually), but he’s coming from a small school and will need time to adjust to the level of competition he’ll face in the NFL. Harris is currently recovering from a foot surgery that’ll keep him from participating in team activities until training camp. Gordon’s a journeyman with 14 career receiving yards.

Next: More on offensive help...