5 important reasons for the Chiefs to chase after another wide receiver addition

After the Chiefs drafted one of the fastest receivers ever, the Chiefs still have a need at the position.
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

After the Kansas City Chiefs drafted one of the fastest receivers ever, they still have a need at the position.

The Chiefs have done quite a bit to overhaul their receiver room over the last few years. After trading away Tyreek Hill, Kansas City has acquired the following via free agency, draft or trade: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, Richie James, Hollywood Brown, and Xavier Worthy.

The Chiefs have certainly thrown numbers at the situation but they've lacked a consistent reliable option outside of a year of Smith-Schuster and Watson as a fourth option. The Chiefs have hopefully raised the ceiling of the position with Brown and Worthy, but they need to work on raising the floor now.

1. Injuries

As obvious at this may seem the Chiefs have been incredibly healthy at the skill positions most of their dynastic run. Travis Kelce missed a game at the beginning of the season and the results weren't pretty. The Chiefs need to always be thinking about the risk of injuries hitting their roster especially with the amount of games they've played over the last few years.

Hollywood Brown missed 8 games in his two years in Arizona. He's listed at 5'9" 180 lbs., so injuries are just a potential reality for him. Worthy was very reliable and healthy at Texas, but his slender 5'11" 165 lbs. frame is going to feel vulnerable as well. Missing one of or both of these elements of the offense could really limit what they do down the field, especially if Rashee Rice is not available.

2. Rashee Rice Suspension

This is probably the most obvious reason why the Chiefs might need extra bodies. Rice getting suspended almost feels inevitable but the length is a total unknown. The league has been wildly inconsistent with the length of player suspensions levied, so it could be some amount between 2-4 games or even 8-10. This, coupled with injuries, could leave the Chiefs very thin if a few things go bad for them. If Rice is suspended for 6 games and Hollywood Brown has a strained hamstring in Week 2, the offense could have a 2023 feel all over again.

3. Blocking

It's hard to get excited about blocking among wide receivers, but it does matter to an extent. Nobody cares about how well Justin Jefferson or AJ Brown block but it changes things in an offense.

The Chiefs don't need earth-movers but they do need competency. Between the lack of size with Brown and Worthy, and given Rashee Rice's struggles when run blocking in his first season, there are some reasons for concern. Last year the Chiefs could count on Marquez Valdez-Scantling as a run blocker, but that's about all he could be counted on for.

Without adding to the room, the Chiefs are going to be relying on Rice to progess in this area and Watson. There's not been much reason to think that Skyy Moore or Kadarius Toney are ideal candidates for that role either. The Chiefs also want to stay unpredictable on offense, so they can't have designated blocking receivers.

Rashee Rice relied on screens for production early in the year and blocking was a part of that.

4. Veteran Leadership

Last year, the most experienced and accomplished voices in the receiver room were MVS and Richie James, not exactly what you want for a rookie, a second-year player who might as well have been a rookie, and a guy with character issues in Toney. The Chiefs have added Brown as that veteran voice along with Watson returning for another year. Brown seems motivated on a one-year deal but that group could still use a proven voice who can speak up about simple things—like lining up onside...

5. Keep Patrick Mahomes Happy

I bring this up all the time, but it's one of the most important things this franchise can do. Keep Pat happy. Tom Brady and Russell Wilson walked away from franchises that made them champions, partly due to their surrounding cast.

Patrick Mahomes is the best thing to happen to the Chiefs, probably ever but certainly in the last 50 years. Brett Veach needs to do anything he can to keep the most important player in the league happy. If that means bringing in another body at the position, then it's worth the risk.

Who would make sense?

Free agent receivers have been going off the board left and right after the draft, so the pickings are slim.

Michael Thomas isn't going to be healthy for 17 games, but he could provide some support in these areas, especially if he's the 5th or 6th receiver rather than a top target. Zay Jones might be a name that makes sense but his primary game is speed—something they already have lots of. Would Mecole Hardman make sense? Maybe as a player to solely push Toney and Moore for their roster spots.

Some names that could be traded or cut: Treylon Burks appears to be on the way out in Tennessee. The Titans just signed Tyler Boyd after already adding Calvin Ridley. Burks would do lots of similar things that Rice did last year but he comes with control as he's still on a rookie deal with a fifth-year option available too.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was very disappointing for the Patriots last year and now a new GM is running the team. Maybe they cut him or trade him to free up snaps for newly drafted Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker. Juju could come in and be a nice fail-safe in an offense he already knows.