Almost everybody expected the Kansas City Chiefs to take a wide receiver at some point in the 2014 NFL Draft. Many believed the first round pick would be used to fill the perceived gaping hole opposite of Dwayne Bowe. Instead, the selection was used to bolster the pass rush with the pick of Auburn outside linebacker Dee Ford.
General manager John Dorsey then made five more picks, bringing in a pair of offensive lineman, a jack-of-all trades, a quarterback and a corner. Dorsey spoke to reporters after the draft, maintaining what he has said since coming to Kansas City last year: He will always take the best player available.
Despite claiming this was a very deep draft in receivers, Dorsey decided not to take one. Instead, he showed faith not only in the receivers currently on the roster but the men responsible for coaching them. Andy Reid has long been known as one of the brilliant offensive minds in the NFL.
During his 13 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, he had an excellent track record of winning multiple division titles with men named James Thrash, Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston as his go-to options for Donovan McNabb. Similar to Jamaal Charles, Reid employed a running back in Brian Westbrook who had the ability to catch the ball and head upfield.
This receiving group has Dwayne Bowe and a bunch of question marks. Donnie Avery has speed but possesses working hands about 50 percent of the time. Junior Hemingway and A.J. Jenkins have potential but have yet to prove they are anything more than depth and help on special teams. Weston Dressler is a complete unknown in the NFL game.
Wide receivers coach David Culley has been known as one of the best in the business for years. If there is untapped potential in these men, he is a good bet to pull it out. Dorsey clearly has belief that between Culley, Reid, and the quarterbacking of Alex Smith will be good enough to keep the offense humming.
The draft class also tells us Dorsey wanted to fortify the offensive line depth. He can talk about taking the best player available, but I have no doubt he was leaving that war room with some big uglies. The help may have come with the last two picks, but he took large men in Zach Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif with good upside.
De'Anthony Thomas is a man of many skills, capable of splitting wide or coming out of the backfield. He's the new Dexter McCluster except with more speed. Expect Reid to make him into a Darren Sproles-type player. In Thomas, Dorsey might see more of a receiver, perhaps helping the unit in that regard.
Still, with the smoke cleared and the dust settled, a message was sent. Dorsey is prepared to go into battle with Bowe, Avery, Hemingway and Jenkins as his leading men on the outside after bypassing dozens of potential targets in the draft and missing out on Emmanuel Sanders.
For better or worse, Dorsey is showing faith.