Which Wide Receivers Made The Cut?
Of all the positions on the Chiefs roster, the position I came away most wishing they had one more quality starter at is wide receiver. Obviously, Tyreek Hill is a star and I do believe Mecole Hardman has a role as a big play threat out of the slot. I’m just not 100% sold on K.C.’s options at the other outside X receiver spot.
It looks like the Chiefs are content to use a mix of Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle in that spot. Pringle had the better preseason showing, but Robinson’s spot with the ones seems pretty set despite some fans (myself included) having some reservations about him. Could Robinson be a surprise cut? Maybe, but it seems very unlikely at this point.
If the Chiefs appear to be ready to use Hill, Hardman, Robinson, and Pringle as their regular contributors on offense, then the question becomes what is the priority for the remaining backup roster spots? The answer for at least one of those spots is special teams play. That is why you can go ahead and write Marcus Kemp’s name down for the 53-man roster in Sharpie. He not only played well on offense this preseason, but he’s one of Dave Toub’s top special teams guys. So that brings the wideout total to five.
In my time writing about the Chiefs, I’ve seen K.C. carry anywhere from five to seven wideouts on the 53-man roster. I’m assuming they’ll carry at least six this season, with a small chance of seven. That takes us to the Daurice Fountain versus Cornell Powell debate. Assuming the other five wideouts mentioned are locks the Chiefs have to decide if they would rather keep the player they invested a 5th round draft pick on or the player who was clearly better on the field in both training camp and preseason games. The fact that neither player was a special teams standout makes that decision even harder.
No GM wants to admit their draft pick was a disappointment after just a few months of having them on the team. Ideally, you would want to give a player at least one full season to develop before you even risk trying to sneak them onto the practice squad. However, I already mentioned that the Chiefs don’t exactly have amazing options at the starting X receiver spot and there is simply no question of which guy is better suited to contribute there right now if the Chiefs needed them to play, that’s Fountain.
Maybe the Chiefs end up bringing in a veteran from another team and neither guy sticks on the roster long term. This decision (in my opinion) probably comes down to how much the Chiefs trust Robinson and Pringle. If they have a lot of faith in those two, they may keep Powell on the 53 so they don’t risk losing him. If they aren’t 100% sold on Robinson and Pringle, they may keep Fountain around as a possible alternative.
Next up let’s break down how reasonable keeping four tight ends is.