We went most of the 2016 NFL mock draft season with the draft experts focusing in on two positions for the Kansas City Chiefs: cornerback and defensive line. If it wasn't Ohio State CB Eli Apple it was Louisiana Tech DL Vernon Butler. If it wasn't Clemson DL Kevin Dodd or Mississippi State DL Chris Jones it was Houston CB William Jackson. This graphic shows the mocks almost exclusively picking cornerback or defensive line for the Chiefs. Those are two big needs for the Chiefs so I didn't have a problem with it.
Except something has changed recently. In the past week we're starting to see more mock drafts sending a receiver to the Chiefs. And not just from draft nobodies -- from in-the-know folks like Cris Collinsworth, Peter King and Daniel Jeremiah. I don't get the sense that this is a leak from the organization that the Chiefs are likely to take a receiver. Maybe a coincidence on the timing. Maybe when push comes to shove we'll always be mocking receivers to an Andy Reid-coached team. I don't know.
I can't completely disagree with the idea of the Chiefs taking a receiver. I'll leave the decision of which one is the best fit to the experts but the idea of adding more explosion to the Chiefs offense isn't a bad one. It's completely fair to say that the Chiefs need more from their offense in 2016 (even though my lasting image of the Chiefs 2015 season is the pass rush unable to get after Tom Brady). The defense did not get better this offseason (hi, Sean Smith!) so the Chiefs need more from the offense.
Some will say, "Alex Smith doesn't use his receivers!" To which I would respond ... are we sure about that? We said that when Jeremy Maclin was signed and then Alex went out and threw 1,000-plus yards to Maclin in just over 14 games. He even threw it deep! So, maybe things can change.
There's the better question of where a receiver fits on this roster. Albert Wilson, Chris Conley, Rod Streater ... who are you taking off the field? Throw in De'Anthony Thomas with some sort of role and the Mike Williams signing even though that could turn out just as likely to turn out to be nothing. The Chiefs have some options at receiver. Can they improve? They probably could. Should that be a round one priority? That's debatable.
Cris Collinsworth, PFF: Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell
The Chiefs will be throwing a lot of slants and fades â routes on which receivers typically don't get a ton of separation and have to come down with difficult catches â and Treadwell is the man for that job. He'd be a top-10 pick if he were just a bit quicker.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
Thomas is a DeAndre Hopkins-type value (he went 27th to Houston in 2013) at this point of the first round.
Peter King, MMQB: Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell
He could fall this far because of his 40 time (4.65 seconds), and because other positions are stocked so well.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Notre Dame WR Will Fuller
Fuller and Jeremy Maclin would be a dynamic pair of wideouts for Andy Reid's system.