Jeremy Maclin: Does he make a big difference?


The Kansas City Chiefs did not record a touchdown from a receiver in 2014. You may have heard of this. It was absolutely brutal to watch, and at some times comical. Going into this offseason, general manager John Dorsey had the simple yet challenging task of fixing this group.

Dorsey was aggressive from the outset of free agency, snagging former Philadelphia Eagles receiver and free-agent Jeremy Maclin with a five-year, $55 million deal. Maclin’s arrival was met with much fanfare. By adding the 26-year-old to the mix, Kansas City acquired its best receiver since Otis Taylor. Needless to say, the wait has been extensive.

However, does the addition of Maclin give the Chiefs what they need? Will he change the way the AFC West opponents view Kansas City’s offense? This was a question posed on with the three rival bloggers giving their answers. You can see all of them there, but here is a quick snippet of their remarks:

Jeff Legwold – Denver Broncos

"They not only need Maclin to consistently win matchups, but they need to protect better — Alex Smith was sacked 45 times last season, tied for fourth-most among league starters — to get him the ball. If Smith doesn’t have more time to look things over, defenses that already don’t fear his arm will continue to crowd the short and intermediate routes."

Bill Williamson – Oakland Raiders

"Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is in lockstep with Reid. So, there will be an instant chemistry there. There won’t be any adjustment time. Now, I think it would be silly to think Maclin will be a top-flight receiver for the Chiefs. But he is an upgrade, he will produce and the Chiefs will, in turn, be more dangerous with his presence."

Eric D. Williams – San Diego Chargers

"The addition of Maclin should elevate the play of the rest of Kansas City’s receivers, along with quarterback Alex Smith. Maclin gives the Chiefs a legitimate deep threat, and he should open up the middle of the field for tight end Travis Kelce."

My personal take? Maclin is coming off a campaign where he had over 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. However, he never had double-digit touchdowns in a season before while never hitting 1,000 yards. Is he an elite receiver? It depends if 2014 was a blip on the radar or a sign of things to come.

Maclin is one of the best in the league at getting space and running after the catch. In that sense, he is a perfect fit for Kansas City. Can Smith utilize him correctly and get the ball in his hands past the 10-yard barrier? Another question which needs to be answered.

Ultimately, the Chiefs may have overpaid for Maclin, but that was the market. Dorsey went out and got the Chiefs a great weapon. I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.