Hunter Renfrow is not the good idea that some Chiefs fan think

With players being released and traded left and right, one name stuck out to Chiefs fans: the Raiders' wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. The Pro-Bowl slot receiver has had some great games over the five year span in Vegas, but would he be a good fit on Kansas City's bare receiver depth chart? History says that may not be the best idea.

Hunter Renfrow has had a handful of good games against the Raiders' rivals, Kansas City, but could he be a good fit in red-and-yellow?
Hunter Renfrow has had a handful of good games against the Raiders' rivals, Kansas City, but could he be a good fit in red-and-yellow? / Chris Unger/GettyImages

On Wednesday morning, it was announced by Ian Rapoport that the Las Vegas Raiders were releasing their talented slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, saving nearly $14 million in cap space.

Almost immediately, the idea was ringing on social media via Chiefs fans that Renfrow could be just as dangerous in the slot alongside Patrick Mahomes as he was over the past five years (specifically 2021) in black and silver. But, despite a handful of games where he showed off his sneaky fast speed and ability to turn and burn, history shows it might not be such a match made in heaven.

Clemson hasn't always been kind to Kansas City...

Renfrow not only made a name for himself in Las Vegas racking up 2,946 receiving yards (playoffs included) on 277 receptions--10.6 ypc--for 17 touchdowns, but he made a huge splash in college down in South Carolina.

Clemson University has produced quite a few standout wide receivers like DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Williams, Tee Higgins and even some names from back in history like Jimmy Orr and Dwight Clark, but not many--if any--have truly worked out for Kansas City.

Most recently, the Chiefs have taken flyers on both Justyn Ross and Cornell Powell with Ross finally getting a chance to make a name for himself this past season, but only hauling in six receptions on eleven targets for 53 yards. Meanwhile, Powell was taken in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and has not contributed anything other than a decoy on the outside.

Powell has proven to be a strong practice squad player though, shown by the Chiefs consistency in bringing him back once again this offseason. And, although he's the only receiver from Clemson that Kansas City has drafted, the history of Clemson in Kansas City is rarely filled with great careers.

For instance, Dorian O'Daniel was picked in the third round of the 2018 draft by Kansas City and spent four years in red-and-yellow to only rack up one start, 58 total tackles, one pass deflection and two fumble recoveries.

But, the receiver and Clemson player that many will likely point to when reading this article is Sammy Watkins. Watkins was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2014 with the fourth overall pick, that rookie year would be the only one of his career where he would play all 16 games.

Watkins' three seasons with the Chiefs included some magical and memorable moments, including the put-away catch against Tennessee and the time he put Richard Sherman on ice skates in the Super Bowl two weeks later, but all-in-all he missed 16 games over his three seasons in Kansas City including two pivotal playoff games in 2020.

What could Renfrow bring to the slot?

Despite Clemson receivers burning the Chiefs' wallets and depth chart spots for the most part, Renfrow could still bring something to the team that Mahomes could utilize, right? Well, maybe not.

Ever since Renfrow's "breakout" season back in 2021 when he hauled in 103 catches on 128 targets (80.5% Catch Rate) for over 1,030 yards and nine touchdowns, he has simply not been the same. Granted, many Raiders fans will blame then-head coach Josh McDaniels for his lack of play over the past two years it's just not enough to excuse 61 total catches for 585 total yards in 27 games.

Renfrow's sharp decline was on show more than ever last year when he ranked 96th in average target depth (5.6 yards) and 85th in yards per route run--a measly one yard per route. These shallow routes, especially with a checkdown specialist in Jimmy Garropolo and a rookie quarterback in Aidan O'Connell, should have given Renfrow more opportunities. Yet, they were seemingly never there for him to take.

Even then, Renfrow has shown he can ball out for a few games every year before being shoved back into the shadows. This was on display against the Chiefs back in December of 2021 when he went off for 117 yards and the Raiders' only touchdown on 13 catches—his career high—in a 48-9 loss.

Renfrow is a low-grade Braxton Berrios, and on a great day, he's a poor man's Julian Edelman. Either way, you look at it he simply wouldn't be the best fit in Kansas City, even over the two receivers that consistently play slot in Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney.