The Kansas City Chiefs will need to add talent to the wide receiver position in 2021. Here are some prospects they could consider in April.
With Sammy Watkins in the final year of his current contract, the Kansas City Chiefs will have to find someone to fill his role this offseason. When discussing his role in the offense, we aren’t talking about being the number two receiver. Instead, we are talking about the type of receiver and playstyle.
Watkins has filled the “X” receiver position for Kansas City when healthy the last three seasons. Outside of Byron Pringle, the Chiefs don’t have anyone that fits that role. Even when Watkins missed time this season, the coaching staff elected not to give Pringle significant playing time. Without him, the offense lacked a bigger, physical presence with savvy route running ability who can work the short and intermediate areas of the field outside of tight end Travis Kelce.
Ultimately, the absence of Wakins led to a stagnant offense at times as defenses took away the explosive plays downfield. Tyreek Hill is one of the best receivers in the league, but the depth chart behind him in 2021 is up in the air. Mecole Hardman has flashed development at times in his second year, but he remains inconsistent and needs manufactured touches. He also plays his best in Hill’s role in the offense.
It’s still unknown what Hardman’s true potential is within Kansas City’s offense. We all hoped to see more development this far into year two from the young receiver, but there have been flashes. Let’s also not forget that he didn’t have an offseason to work with coaches and the team to further that development.
Even if Hardman proves that he can be a consistent threat on all three levels of the field, the Chiefs still have a spot to fill. Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are both set to hit free agency. Adding someone that can fill that X role vacated by Watkins would be the best avenue—someone who can win in those short to intermediate areas of the field as well. Plus, do we really expect Chiefs general manager Brett Veach to break his streak of adding offensive weapons for Patrick Mahomes after signing him to a mega-deal?
Like the offensive line and defensive end parts of this series, today we will look at three wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft that the Chiefs could consider. We will talk about one receiver that could likely be grabbed on each day of the draft.