Since John Dorsey took over the reigns as the Kansas City Chiefs’ GM in 2013, the team has had several different wide receiving groups. As we enter 2016 and Dorsey’s 4th season with the team, fans will possibly see yet another set of receivers. The 2015 season saw the emergence of Jeremy Maclin as a go-to receiver, but no other receiving options stepped up as an additional offensive threat, and with the recent free agent signing of WR Rod Streater, there are certainly questions regarding whether the Chiefs need more production from their other receivers. I wanted to take a look at the WR production during Dorsey’s tenure so far and determine what the Chiefs should do at this position.
Below is a table of the WR production from each year under John Dorsey, by each receiver and from the WR’s as a whole (click on the table to see a larger version):
Interestingly, during Alex Smith’s time as the Chiefs’ QB, he has set career highs in passing yardage twice. During the past 3 seasons, the total yardage and number of catches by the Chiefs’ WR’s has increased each year. In addition, the WR’s percentage of catches out of total targets has increased from 54.5% (2013) to 61.0% (2014) and then 65.8% (in 2015). However, the Chiefs have had only one 1,000-yard receiver in this span (Jamaal Charles has rushed for over 1,000 yards twice in the same time frame) and have only had one season where two WR’s have at least 40 catches and 500 yards, indicating some drop off in the #2 WR spot.
It seems pretty clear that Andy Reid’s offense has become more efficient over the years, despite a lack of receiving production from everyone but Maclin. Of course this is ignoring the production from TE Travis Kelce, but in the event that Kelce is injured or his production drops off, there is no clear WR option to step up in his place. If Dorsey can find a third receiving threat beyond Maclin and Kelce, while retaining the same rushing production, the Chiefs will be a very hard team to stop.
It remains to be seen if Rod Streater will be a viable option to provide more production beyond what will be expected from Maclin. Streater is a big receiver (6’3” and 216 lbs) with 109 career receptions for 1564 yards and 8 TDs. He could potentially line up in the slot or out wide, and at minimum provide competition for Albert Wilson and Chris Conley. If any of those three have a big year in 2016, the Chiefs should be heavy favorites to win the AFC West. The Chiefs might still target a WR in the upcoming NFL Draft (although they have greater needs elsewhere, plus several young WR’s on the roster who haven’t had their shot in the pros yet). Hopefully, the Chiefs will see more overall production at WR in 2016, paving the way for another playoff berth.
Let’s Go Chiefs!