With players stepping onto the practice field/facility for the first time in a long time, it feels as though football is in the air. You can hear Arrowhead reaching to abnormal levels of loudness, hear the sounds of announcers yelling ‘touchdown’ through the TV screen, and somewhere out in the world, hear Joe Buck ruining a spectacular play with his commentary. Not that I would do any better, but come on, Buck.
With football back in the air, I feel as though it’s time to do some predictions, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver core. For this article, I’ll only be doing the top four receivers who I think will be on the final 53-man roster. Let’s get started:
The Cheetah, one of the most destructive players on this offense that isn’t nicknamed after a Greek God (Kelce) or after the term homie (Mahomes). His game-breaking speed and elusiveness, plus his elite catching abilities put him in the top ten of all current NFL receivers. Last season, he posted 87 catches (tied for career-best) for 1276 yards and 15 touchdowns (career-best).
In the past four years, he has tallied 1,000+ yards in three of them. In 2019, the year he didn’t hit 1,000+, he was injured for four games, but if he was still out on the field for all 16 games, he was on pace to hit 1,147 yards (71.7 (yards per game) x four (games missed) + 860 (yards he had in 12 games). Also, he had double-digit touchdown seasons in two of the past four years, and with the number of catches he’s receiving on average (77 catches a year in the past four years), it’s not hard to assume he’ll hit those two markers again.
We also mustn’t forget he’s reliable in the rushing game as well. In 13 rush attempts, he had 123 yards and two touchdowns. I could see him being utilized in this sense a lot more, as he did average about ten yards per attempt.
Stat prediction: 125 targets, 85 catches, 1,246 yards, and 13 touchdowns; 20 rushes, 190 yards, and three touchdowns
Mecole Hardman had a sub-par 2020/21 season; he caught 41 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns. While that may seem decent on paper, especially with how the Chiefs also have Hill and Kelce taking most of the targets and receptions, his production for yardage went down.
In his rookie year, he had only 26 catches but posted 538 yards and six touchdowns. Compared to his second year, he averaged more yards per catch in his rookie year (20.7) than his second year with 15 more catches (13.7). In addition, he only had a difference of only 22 yards between his rookie and sophomore year, when in his second year, he had 15 more catches, as mentioned before.
We have no clue who will be the WR2 for the Chiefs; however, I do expect him to have an up season in 2021/22 as he will be in the top-three receivers no matter if he lines up on the right side or in the slot. I do expect his targets to stick, but his catch percentage has gone up over the past two years. I could see it steadily increasing yet again. I even think he’ll gain more yardage with the catches he snags; however, I do think he won’t get a lot of touchdowns due to everyone else on this Chiefs’ offense.
Nevertheless, let’s predict the stats:
Stat line prediction: 64 targets, 44 catches, 725 yards, and five touchdowns
As we go down the list, it will be a lot harder to predict as we don’t know who will be in what spot on the depth chart at this very moment; take these next three predictions with a grain of salt.
With the need for someone to fight for the WR2 spot, the Chiefs drafted 6’0 WR Cornell Powell from Clemson. I have talked about him a bunch previously; to sum it all down, he thrives in contested catch situations, can high point the ball at a very good level, has very good route running, and has solid separation abilities. He has the skills necessary to make the starting spot a reality.
Powell saw true production in his senior year, where he caught 53 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 16.6 yards per catch. I don’t think we’ll see him have as much production as Hardman, but he will see a decent amount. The WR2 and WR3 spots aren’t utilized as much as other offenses due to Hill and Kelce, but he’ll see a substantial amount of playtime.
Stat Predictions: 50 targets, 35 catches, 485 yards, and four touchdowns
Like Giorno Giovanna, Demarcus Robinson has a dream; a dream to earn 1,000+ receiving yards and snag 10+ touchdowns. While that dream may be far reached, having a solid season, however, may not be as hard as it looks. Robinson has been doing a solid job so far with 45 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns in 2020/21, which isn’t too bad with how deep he was in the depth chart last year.
He still has a lot of room to improve with his role steadily increasing; however, I think his role will stay the same with slightly different stats. With size, I could see Andy Reid using him more as a redzone threat. While we’d all like him to post 1,000+ yards, in reality, it’s hard to believe it will come true. I hope he proves me wrong here.
Stat Predictions: 57 targets, 46 catches, 481 yards, and four touchdowns
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