Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs started 9-0 before finishing a dismal 2-5 down the stretch and blowing a 28-point lead in the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts.
It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, and I'm sure of yours. The game was lost not because the offense was inept, with Alex Smith and co. scoring 44 points without Jamaal Charles. No, the game was choked away by a defense that resembled a sieve the last two months of the season.
Still, the talent is there to be elite. Bob Sutton needs to figure out how to make his six Pro Bowl players most effective. All of this is why, with the 23rd pick in the draft, the Chiefs need to take a wide receiver with speed.
The glaring holes on this team are at free safety and wide receiver, a fact few would quibble with. Free safety was a black hole for talent last season, allowing multiple breakdowns including the one that saw T.Y. Hilton end their year. However, Sanders Commings is a young player many are high on, and for good reason. Turn on the tape of Commings, and you will see a 6'0', 225-pound kid who can lay the wood and go sideline-to-sideline.
Who knows if he, or Husain Abdullah, will work as full-time starters, but there is at least potential.
There is no such hope with the receivers. Count me still on the Dwayne Bowe train, but count me off, and I mean way off, the A.J. Jenkins train. Jenkins made eight catches last year, a campaign following his zero-catch rookie performance. This kid is a massive long shot if you are looking for a quality starter.
I'm actually a believer in Junior Hemingway, but he also has ways to go after making only 13 catches. Even if he does develop, he's not a burner, but more similar to Bowe.
We all know the story about Donnie Avery. He has great speed, and no hands.
In this draft, there are a bevy of options to be had. Assuming Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins are off the board, the Chiefs could wind up in a scenario where they choose from Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, Kelvin Benjamin and others.
Personally, give me Cooks. If you have seen tape and / or film, you see a kid who high-points the ball with great athleticism. You also see the fastest receiver in the draft, not only in the 40-yard dash but in football speed. He blows by people, to the tune of 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Damn.
Related: Adam Teicher says it has to be Beckham
Cooks played for a 6-6 Oregon State team which lacked a terrific quarterback, and yet torched quality defenses such as Oregon (10 catches, 110 yards, 0 touchdowns), Washington (10, 117, 1) and Arizona State (9, 99, 0). Against poor defenses, he played them like a Madden game on rookie level, beating up on Washington State (11, 137, 2), Utah (9, 210, 3) and California (13, 232, 1).
At 5'10' and 186 pounds, Cooks is diminutive. For me, that isn't a concern. The man makes plays and can get open repeatedly.
Comparatively, Beckham is only two inches taller and a pound heavier, and runs almost the exact same 40-time. My issue with him is against better competition he faltered often, despite having Jarvis Landry on the other side and Zach Mettenberger behind center.
He dominated against schools such as Furman (6, 204, 2) and UAB (5, 136, 3). Against SEC schools, Beckham only eclipsed 100 yards twice, doing so versus Georgia (6, 118, 0) and Mississippi State (9, 179, 2). In fact, Beckham never amassed 75 yards in any of his last seven games, including the Outback Bowl.
If the Chiefs can select a top-notch playmaker, they are one giant step closer to being a Super Bowl team.