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Pro Football Focus says Chiefs must re-sign free agent WR Albert Wilson

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Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus has released its Kansas City Chiefs free-agent primer, and it provides a nice, clean look into the team’s cap situation, along with a few suggestions on who to sign.

One part that caught my eye, in particular, was writer Eric Eager’s suggestion that the Chiefs must absolutely re-sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver Albert Wilson.

Eager writes:

Just a year after settling for a one-year, $1.797 million deal this past offseason, Wilson’s stock has substantially improved after hauling in a career-best-tying 42 regular season passes on just 56 targets. His 15 forced missed tackles on receptions during the regular season was tied for third among all wide receivers, and he was a plus player as a blocker in the running game as well. There is some risk here, as he is only one year removed from being one of the least productive slot players in the league (with only 0.60 slot receiving yards per route run in 2016) and the Chiefs are switching from the conservative Alex Smith to the seemingly-aggressive Mahomes. However, in Mahomes’ only 2017 start, he found Wilson 10 times on 11 targets for 147 yards (including 82 after the catch) against Denver.

PFF rated the 25-year-old Wilson a grade of 77.7, or 33rd out of 116, but what jumped out to me here was the Patrick Mahomes-game stat line.

Since 10 catches on 11 targets for 147 yards is absurd, I dove back into that game a bit by pulling up my recap.

The first thing I was reminded of was the “dad sweatshirt” Wilson wore under his jersey, which I suggested is a thing he needs to start doing every single game.

Reluctantly figuring his performance had nothing to do with his attire, I then checked out the gamebook. And in the gamebook, something made me audibly say, “Whoa.”

WR Snap Counts (Week 17)

Jehu Chesson, 66 (100 percent)
Demarcus Robinson, 61, (92 percent)
Albert Wilson, 28 (42 percent)
De’Anthony Thomas, 7 (11 percent)

10 catches out of 11 targets on 28 snaps! That is remarkable, considering the Chiefs also handed the ball off 19 times in the game.

And I know what the naysayers will say—Pete, that sample size is minute. Tyreek Hill wasn’t even playing.

All true.

But it’s currently the only thing we have, as it was Mahomes’ only regular-season game.

So now, with the trade of Alex Smith (and the resulting confirmation of Mahomes as the team’s starting quarterback), hasn’t Wilson’s value gone up? I’d say yes.

He’s still young, he knows the Andy Reid playbook, and in 28 snaps with Mahomes, he had the best game of his four-year career.

OK, Pro Football Focus, I agree. Albert Wilson is must-sign.

Poll

Should the Chiefs bring back Albert Wilson?

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  • 90%
    Yes
    (3197 votes)
  • 9%
    No
    (350 votes)
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