The battle for WR2; the skirmish to see who will earn to start with the main Chiefs’ offense. It has been spoken about for a good while; whether or not one of the players on the roster is up for the task, or if they should bring some talent from outside of the Chiefs’ organization. While it may sound simple, it is a pretty in-depth issue that must be solved; no one would want to plug someone in who isn’t ready for that role in any way, shape, or form.
With that said, here are the options of what the Chiefs could do, and what I think the Chiefs should do moving forward.
Option One: Go with what we got
This option, of course, would save the Chiefs the most money; they wouldn’t have to sign anyone new, and they could just promote from within the roster. The most likely players that could take this spot include Mecole Hardman, Cornell Powell, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle. Let’s break down each player briefly to see who could take the spot:
Hardman has to explode this season; snagging the WR2 spot and proving his worth to the Chiefs’ coaching staff would do just that. His production fell off last season. In 2019, he had 26 catches for 538 yards and six touchdowns, while in 2020, he had 41 catches for 560 yards and four touchdowns. With more touches, you’d expect to have way more yards and either the same or more touchdowns from the year before.
We all know he has the speed and abilities to be a great receiver, but he has a major dropping problem. He was tied fourth in catches dropped by receivers; however, it seems as though he’s hard at work with this problem, and he’s trying to mend it. He has the best odds to snag this spot at this moment; but, there is a lot of competition.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Cornel Powell to try and compete for the WR2 spot. Powell is a 6’0″, 204-pound receiver from Clemson; Powell has excellent route running capabilities and thrives in 50/50 balls. Powell has great awareness, knowing when to turn, extend his arms, etc. He has already shown a lot of potential in training camp.
He has a lot of potential, and he has drawn comparisons to Sammy Watkins; even Watkins thinks he’s making #14 look good. He’d have to beat out Robinson and Hardman for sure, so it would be interesting to see how he does when the vets take the field.
Robinson had one of his best year’s last season, catching 45 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a 76.3% catch percentage; this was one of the best on the Chiefs’ roster. Robinson stated that this year, he will earn 1,000+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns; I love this confidence as it shows he’s mentally ready to take charge within this Chiefs’ offense.
He has the skill set to earn this, but that skill hasn’t truly translated to on field success. He has to find a way to snap, and prove to the NFL that he is a force to be reckoned with. Not a lot people think he’ll snag this spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got it.
He’s the underdog in this fight; he’ll have to beat out almost every receiver on the roster that isn’t on the practice spot to earn it. He had a good showing against the Chargers in Week 17 where he caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. He ran great routes, had good speed and acceleration, good hands, and displayed other skills that showed that he belonged on a roster spot. It will be a tough road to get there, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a shot to snag the roster spot.
Option Two: Free agency
One of the main targets the Chiefs are looking at is former Jacksonville wide receiver, Dede Westbrook. On Westbrook himself, he has shown he can high-point the ball with ease, making a good amount of jump catches in his time; he showed that he can make 50/50 catches, which Mahomes needs in his offense. Along with his good hands, he has great speed and agility; this helps his route running astronomically.
While he is an injury liability after suffering a gruesome season-ending knee injury after returning a kickoff return in a loss against the Chargers, he still could provide help and could have a great shot of being the Chiefs’ WR2. However, Chiefs’ fans don’t want Watkins 2.0
There really aren’t any other options in free agency; all the good or viable receivers are long gone. Unless Golden Tate or Larry Fitzgerald is in the mix somewhere, I don’t see anyone else in the mix of being signed.
Option Three: The trade route
There are only two viable options in terms of the trade: Julio Jones or Michael Gallup. I hope all Chiefs fans have no quarrels with the Veach trying to bring Jones to the team; I also hope they don’t have any issues with Gallup either. Both receivers have proven to be viable receivers for the long term. The question arises from what the Chiefs should trade for either or. Here are my ideas for the trade
Trade for Julio Jones
Chiefs give up: 2022 second, 2022 fifth
Falcons give up: Julio Jones
Trade for Michael Gallup
Chiefs give up: 2022 third, 2022 sixth
Cowboys give up: Michael Gallup
What’s the best option moving forward?
The Chiefs should try to be aggressive and snag Julio Jones. He’s one of the best receivers in the league without a doubt. If that does not work, I believe the Chiefs should stick with what they have and evaluate from there. There is a motherload of great talent within the wide receiver core, so it’s not too crazy to think the Chiefs would promote within the organization. Businesses all over the world do the same, so it wouldn’t be any different.
If I had to guess which wideout would earn it, my bet would be on Cornell Powell. I could see Hardman being utilized as the slot receiver with Robinson and Pringle taking the WR4 and WR5 spots, respectfully.
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