This one here is a mix of “maybe the Chiefs have enough other weapons” and a “yeah duh” pick. Maclin has been injured during camp before and the Eagles team he played for still made the playoffs. The difference is that Eagles team had a ton of other weapons, Nick Foles is in the record books as proof of that. Should Maclin take another season-ending knee injury then the Chiefs would be in serious trouble.
Remember the 2014 season? The one with no wide receiver touchdowns? Yeah of course you do, it was everywhere then and drug up again when Maclin finally hooked up with Smith in Green Bay and ended the drought 21 games after the last one. That’s the kind of impact Maclin had with his 87 receptions, 1088 yards, and 8 touchdowns in 15 games. He made Smith want to find him in coverage because he knew he could trust him to make the play. A great example of this is when the Chiefs battled the Lions in London.
Kansas City was looking to put the game away in the fourth quarter and Smith took a bit of a risk throwing over coverage to his new favorite target. It was an interesting thing to see Smith do since he is rarely throwing in traffic to protect the ball. He put it just high enough over the linebacker but also led him enough to keep it away from the safety. These are the type of balls he did not give to Dwayne Bowe nearly as often if ever. Smith continued to give these kinds of passes to Maclin against Cleveland and in Baltimore.
Behind Maclin the Chiefs have a few up and comers like Albert Wilson and Chris Conley but neither comes close to the ability that Maclin has to find spaces in the defense. In order to compensate for his loss the Chiefs would have to rely heavily again on Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles. While great players, when defenses can focus more on them it means fewer touchdowns and more field goals or punts. Without Maclin the Chiefs may find themselves in unproductive albeit familiar territory.
Next: Derrick Johnson