Former NFL scout under Andy Reid and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick joined 810 WHB and dropped some interesting points on what KC Chiefs coach Andy Reid is looking for in a receiver as we approach the 2015 NFL Combine. Given Riddick's background, I thought this was a good one to pass along.
The takeaway is one I've mentioned before -- Andy Reid asks a lot of his receivers so you have to be smart enough to learn multiple positions.
"Let's start with the interview process [at the NFL Combine]. Andy's offense is very verbiage intensive and very much so memory-oriented. So you better have great recall and an ability to listen to a bunch of words and take out of what you're supposed to take out of it as far as what your assignments are and be able to apply what you've been taught as far as your assignments are concerned on the run because things can change quickly based on pre-snap look from the defense and then the coverage the defense will roll to once the play the starts. Those are the kinds of things he's going to try to figure out during the interview process when he's watching film with you in the interview room in those 15 minutes whether it's two snaps or 10 snaps, however many he's able to run through with you in the time allotted to try to get a feel for you from a mental standpoint.
"You have to be smart to play in his offense. The other thing is, ideally, he would like you to be smart enough to learn three primary wide receiver positions, which would be the Z, X and E. The Z being the flanker, the X being the split end and the E being the slot position.
"Number two, once you get on the field and actually start going through drills. Obviously the speed and athletic ability are things he's going to want. But the number one thing? Pretty simple. What are receivers asked to do? Catch the ball. You better not be double catching it, you better not be having the ball beat up your chest and getting into you every time the ball is thrown to you. You better not be double catching it, dropping it, letting the ball hit you in the face and all those kinds of things. That will turn him off completely immediately.
"He has been known to take receivers of all shapes and sizes. He does not discriminate in that way. If you're smaller, like DeSean Jackson was, but you have other very high quality in demand traits then he'll still consider you. Obviously everyone wants the 6'2, 215-pound guy who runs a 4.3 and can jump out of the gym and catch everything in sight. Yeah, no kidding. There aren't always a lot of those guys. But you better be smart and better be able to catch it clean and consistently. Otherwise, just like any other coach, he's going to be turned off from you quickly."
I remember Frankie Hammond telling us last year that Reid had him learn every receiver position on the field, which is why it sometimes takes receivers some time to get used to Reid's offense. That plays into the Chiefs in free agency and the draft. If Dwayne Bowe is not back -- well, even if he is -- the Chiefs need to find receivers who can contribute quickly. That'll be a tough thing to do with what Reid asks.