The countdown to Chiefs camp begins now. Over the next two weeks, cover32 Chiefs will have in depth analysis at every position heading into training camp. Jake Schyvinck and Braden Holecek dive into every battle and roster spot up for grabs.
The Jeremy Maclin release hurt the wide receiver core. Now, the Chiefs head into camp with a very young group. Rookie standout Tyreek Hill leads the core, but it is tough to gauge beyond him and Chris Conley. Following Albert Wilson, a number of young guys will vie for the remaining spot. Let’s dive in to the battle.
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Time To Step Up
The Maclin release brings second year player Tyreek Hill to the forefront. Hill excelled on deep balls last year, along with being a nightmare in space. This season, he must continue to develop as a route runner over the middle of the field. The Chiefs’ offense depends on receivers winning matchups all over the field. Hill is the main man now, and his development is key for the receiver group.
Chris Conley is another important name to watch. He improved last season in an expanded role, but now he will be tested as a full time starter. Conley is prepared for this. His speed and athleticism make him a candidate to jump in production again. The opportunity is knocking, and Conley just has to take it.
The Role Players
Albert Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas are not household names, but they perform well in spots when Andy Reid needs them. However, their guarantees to make the roster aren’t as certain as many think. While they have proven themselves, young guys sit back and wait for their chance. The Chiefs are in a transition with Mahomes waiting in the wings. Wilson and Thomas need to go into camp with the mindset to win their jobs outright.
The Rookie In The Room
Many fans wonder where rookie Jehu Chesson will fit in this offense. Chesson is a big-bodied receiver with a knack for winning downfield. But, there is no guarantee he gets a lot of snaps this season. He, like everyone else, must go in and win his spot. Chesson stands out for a certain reason, though. His red zone prowess should vault him through the ranks during camp. Limited snaps are most likely in the cards for Chesson in year one, but he gets the luxury of developing under sound coaching.
The Fight For Spots
Many names litter the bottom of the depth chart at the moment. A few notable names stand out. One of those is Demarcus Robinson. Out of Florida, Robinson has waited for his chance to make a statement. He is a good route runner with very good hands. That kind of skill warrants a strong look by this Chiefs offense. In a matchup scheme, Robinson could thrive. He could become the new Maclin of the offense.
Robinson isn’t the only name to watch here. Seantavius Jones also deserves a look during camp. Jones has been in the league since 2014, and his time is now. The Chiefs lack of depth gives him an outside shot to make the roster. However, he needs to make a serious statement in the preseason.
Who Makes The Roster?
Hill, Conley, and Wilson are likely to make the final roster. Odds are that leaves two spots up for grabs. Robinson is likely to snag one of the spots, given he made the team last season. Chesson also will be on the final roster, barring an injury. That leaves one more spot to fight for. Depending on what they need, De’Anthony Thomas may be a casualty in the race if someone else steps up. However, he does bring value in the return game, which is another discussion. Jones and rookie Gehrig Dieter will challenge him for it, and that battle could last until the last week of the preseason.
How many do the Chiefs take? What are your thoughts? Comment or go to @cover32_KC on Twitter.
Jake Schyvinck is a Managing Editor for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.