Pre-camp Chiefs chatter: Forgetting Wilson

Jan 9, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid hugs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) after defeating the Houston Texans in a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at NRG Stadium. Kansas City won 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid hugs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) after defeating the Houston Texans in a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at NRG Stadium. Kansas City won 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a long offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs will conduct their first official training camp practice over the weekend. When the full team arrives in Saint Joseph at Missouri Western University, the site of their annual preseason ramp up, wide receiver will be one of the hottest position races on the roster. The No. 2 wide receiver position has been unsettled in Kansas City for about five years. You’d have to go back to 2011 to find the last competent wideout in the role (Steve Breaston).

The team’s receiving corps in 2016 is arguably the most talented group to play at One Arrowhead Drive in a decade. It’s that reality that has some believing third-year man Albert Wilson may be on borrowed time. I’m not one of those people and today, we’ll take a look at why it might be premature to count him out of the aforementioned race. Thus far, in a young career, Wilson’s been the most productive Chiefs receiver behind incumbent Jeremy Maclin.

I’m aware that 711 receiving yards and two touchdowns, in as many seasons, hardly keeps Wilson off the bubble. Veteran Rod Streater has two more seasons of NFL experience and has had more success at this level. Second-year man Chris Conley is faster, more athletic, and has a body type more suitable for playing on the outside.

Mike Williams was also acquired by the team in the offseason, but he’s on the fringe with a cluster of inexperienced receivers like Da’Ron Brown, Tyreek Hill, Mitch Mathews, Demarcus Robinson and Kashif Moore.

Make no mistake, Wilson’s improved year-over-year. His growth between his rookie and sophomore seasons is apparent, though, he’s still not quite there yet. 2016 was an improved year for Wilson statistically, but some of his exploits, last season, helped him earn a bad reputation. At times, he has alligator arms and he doesn’t always attack the football as aggressively as perhaps he could. It can take 2-3 years before a receiver truly learns the intricacies of the position in the NFL. His talent, however, is undeniable.

Next: What Wilson can do...