Kansas City Chiefs: Who will be Alex Smith’s third receiving option?

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De’Anthony Thomas

Another intriguing player to watch is second year man De’Anthony Thomas. The college running back and kick return specialist split time between running back and wide receiver in his rookie season, but will reportedly be used exclusively as a receiver this season. While Thomas may not have the straight line speed that Conley does his quickness makes him an explosive big play threat in his own right. He creates match up problems for defenses and as last season wore on it appeared that the Chiefs seemed more and more intent on making him a regular part of the offense.

The question with Thomas is if he can become more than just a “gadget player” that runs a few specifically designed plays each game. If Thomas can earn a spot as KC’s regular slot wideout then he could see his production dramatically increase this year. Thomas appeared in 12 games as a rookie and totaled just 23 receptions in those games. At just 5-foot-8 I don’t know if I can see Thomas ever being a 50+ reception player, but he does seem to have that “it factor” that NFL playmakers have. If he shows he can be an every down slot receiver who knows what could happen.

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jason Avant (81) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Avant

The only other player that I can see having an outside shot at catching 50 passes this season would be the veteran Jason Avant. Avant’s best days are probably behind him but the veteran knows Andy Reid’s system better than any of the other receivers on this list. From 2010-2012 Avant caught 50+ passes as the third receiver in Reid’s offense in Philadelphia. However, the past two seasons he’s been unable to crack the 40 catch mark.

In Avant’s five games in Kansas City last season he caught 13 passes. If he produced at that rate over 16 games it would total 41.6 receptions so it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. In order for that to happen Avant would have to use his knowledge of the offense and sure hands to earn playing time over younger and more physically gifted options like Wilson, Conley, and Thomas. Still, with Alex Smith at the helm of the offense a reliable target like Avant could earn favor with the “risk adverse” quarterback.

So what do you think Addicts? Do the Chiefs need to find a reliable third option in the passing game in order to be successful on offense? Do you think they have a player capable of doing it on the roster? If so, who do you think is the most likely option? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

For regular readers, I’m going to be off on vacation for the next couple of weeks, but fear not I’ll be back at my regular Monday morning ramblings before training camp kicks off.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!