Drafting a wide receiver is a tricky business. The Lions know this very well, the 49ers gave up on AJ Jenkins a year quicker than our Chiefs did with Jon Baldwin. You can never assume that a productive college prospect with glaring stats will ever catch on in the NFL and the wide receiver position is a prime example of that. In saying that you can infer that I am not a huge fan of the Chiefs using a first round pick on a wide receiver in this year’s draft or any draft unless there is a Calvin Johnson available. Wide receivers often take at least one season to catch up to the talent opposition in the NFL.
Yet another year where we fans are left feeling that we need to upgrade the wide receiver position. Dwayne Bowe had a down year but I’m not writing him off yet his potential in this offense is still too high and his contract asserts him as a Chief for at least 2 more seasons. Bowe was an excellent blocker last year and with his ability to gain yards after the catch will be better utilized in year two with Alex Smith. Junior Hemingway was also a good blocker (missed one big one) and en excellent special teams player, but he may never be an offensive difference maker. I am a fan of bringing back Dexter McCluster but we will see what happens there. The addition of Weston Dressler doesn’t necessarily indicate McCluster won’t be back but could be a good plan B. Dressler’s contract was for the league minimum with no guaranteed money. AJ Jenkins hasn’t yet turned 25 and is still a big question mark but I he has so much potential perhaps a full offseason with Coach Reid will be beneficial. Donnie Avery is a potential cap casualty, showing flashes and downfalls thorough the season it became clear yet again that the Chiefs need a more threatening and consistent receiver opposite Bowe.
Therefore the Chiefs must look to free agency this offseason to improve a hole in their roster. We all know the Chiefs are pressed up against the cap but proper management could allow the Chiefs to add one or two impact players. Luckily there is a good pool of free agent wide receivers this year. With salary cap in mind these are the free agent wide receivers I would target on March 11th.
1.) Golden Tate is a player that is on the rise. He has improved every year he has been in the league, rarely drops a pass, and excels in yards after the catch. Tate would be an ideal addition to Coach Reid’s offense.
2.) Andre Roberts is the next player John Dorsey should target if he is unable to sign Tate. Looking at Roberts’ 2012 stats before he was replaced by Michael Floyd. Roberts has the ability to catch deep balls and at times has had good YAC ability.
3.) Emmanuel Sanders would be my third choice. Sanders is a deep ball threat and has increased his production the in each of the last two seasons. However Sanders may be the most expensive receiver on this list.
All three players had very similar 40-times at the combine (4.41-4.45) and are all about the same size with and athletic ability to go up and get the pass. I would assume Roberts would be the cheapest sign.
I do not like the idea of bringing in Jeremy Maclin over any of these players. He has obvious health concerns and that aside his drop rate is too high and is simply bad at gaining YAC. Eric Decker will be too expensive. Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt are intriguing but I’m not sold on Nicks' true ability and Britt is such a head case.
What do you think? Who do you want wearing an Arrowhead?