Third round preview
Wide receiver play was subpar during Super Bowl LV, and when looking at the Chiefs’ receiver core for the 2020 season, other than Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs lack receivers who can provide consistent production.
Sammy Watkins will be on the open market as a free agent, and he is not worth the steep price it would likely take the Chiefs to bring him back. Watkins has missed 12 games in three years for the Chiefs, and he’s not been someone who produces consistently on the field.
Mecole Hardman’s development has been sluggish and lackluster. He does not offer much other than top-end speed, and he has been a disappointment since the Chiefs drafted him 56th overall in the 2019 NFL draft.
Kansas City should look for a wideout who can play in the slot and serve as a ‘route-technician’ underneath. In Super Bowl LV, the Chiefs were too focused on big plays down the field with Kelce and Hill, playing right into Tampa Bay’s hands. However, if the Chiefs can find a receiver that can take advantage of a defense’s’ focus on Hill and Kelce, the Chiefs can exploit the deep coverage that most teams will look to utilize against them next season.
After addressing the offensive line and defensive end spots in the first two rounds, the Chiefs should utilize their third round pick on a receiver. Kansas City should not look into free agency for a receiver. Drafting a receiver will allow the Chiefs to find the player that perfectly fits their system, and gives them an opportunity to develop this player for their future.
One player who could be a possibility for Kansas City in the third round would be Elijah Moore out of Ole Miss. Moore stands at 5’9 and 185 pounds, and the Ole Miss product is electrifying out of the slot. There are questions if he can beat press coverage, but if he finds a way into the Chiefs offense, look for the wideout to have an abundance of space in the middle of the field. Moore primarily plays in the slot and is most dangerous when utilized in the central part of the field.
During his first two years in college, Moore amassed eight touchdowns and 1,248 yards on 103 receptions. However, Moore took a big leap this last season in his junior year. In just eight games, Moore accumulated 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight scores, almost equalizing his stats of the previous two seasons combined. For the Chiefs, it may be tough to get their hands on this player. Moore is projected in some mock drafts as early as late first round to mid third round.
If the Chiefs are unable to grab Moore, another wideout the Chiefs could look into could be “Whop” Philyor out of Indiana. Fun fact, Philyor earned his nickname due to his obsession with the Burger King’s Whoppers burgers. The Indiana product is 5’11 and 180 pounds and is known for his catching ability out of the slot. Philyor’s profile at The Draft Network reads:
"Philyor brings creative skills with the ball in his hands and an effective level of burst and explosiveness in the open field. Philyor has illustrated impressive ball skills for a smaller receiver as well. His hands have earned him catches away from his frame and his ability to track the ball has produced winning reps to adjust in the end zone and on back-shoulder throws."
Philyor would be a perfect fit for this Chiefs’ offense, and seems to be the type of player that slides right into a vertical passing offense.