Jeremy Maclin looks to be a good bet to upgrade our WR corps, but what about the guys behind him? Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Wide Receiver depth: Coming into the offseason, there was no bigger question than the Chiefs wide receiver corps. Last year the group set an all-time record in futility by failing to catch a touchdown pass. Ever since then, Chiefs Kingdom has had to listen to that stat be tossed around by just about everyone. The Chiefs made the big addition of Jeremy Maclin to help out here as well as promoting late-season standout Albert Wilson, but the rest of the group still has a lot to prove.
Leading the depth is Jason Avant. The veteran of the group, Avant has never been a superstar, but built his career on being a reliable third option. The big question here is whether or not he can continue to do that. So far this preseason, he’s been doing a good job showing that. He’s played well when called upon, looking adequate against opposing starters. That’s a good sign for the Chiefs.
Behind Avant things get a little cloudy, but Chris Conley has all of the physical tools you could ever hope for. The problem is that he is very raw. It shows up in his route running and awareness. Conley didn’t get much action for the Chiefs, except as a kick returner. In a way, that’s a good thing. It shows the Chiefs do have a plan for him even if it’s not immediately with the offense. Conley will be the special project for David Culley, like Wilson was last year. So we should be looking for him to come on towards the end of the season.
Frankie Hammond is making a strong case for a roster spot this year. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The real competition at wide receiver heats up when you get to Frankie Hammond and Fred Williams. Neither played much of a role for the Chiefs last year, but both are clearly improved from where they were. There is a good chance that at least one of them makes the roster, and at this point that would be Hammond who also has special teams value. Neither one of them is set to be a starter or will likely get a ton of action in the regular season, but it is good to see the Chiefs depth starting to show itself to be competent at wide receiver.
The rest of the group is made up of long-shots. I wouldn’t expect much from Da’Ron Brown, Donatella Luckett, or L’Damian Washington. They all have some potential, but will likely be seeing the practice squad if anything for the Chiefs. That’s not a bad thing however. Those are the kinds of players that should be making the practice squad and not the 53-man roster.
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