AFC West: Odell Beckham Jr

It's clear the Kansas City Chiefs have intentions of selecting at least one wide receiver in the upcoming draft. Their near-miss with Pittsburgh free-agent Emmanuel Sanders, who wound up signing instead with the Denver Broncos, was a signal the Chiefs understand they have some work to do at the position. They could also use a skilled kick return specialist, though that need could be filled with a defensive back or running back instead.

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have ranked their top 10 receivers available in the draft Insider. ESPN Insider access is required to view their lists.

The top five receivers are the same for both Kiper and McShay, though they have them in a slightly different order. Kiper Jr. has them starting with Clemson's Sammy Watkins, followed by Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. and USC's Marquise Lee.

McShay's order is the same except Beckham is third and Cooks fourth.

The Chiefs, whose first-round selection is 23rd overall, can forget about Watkins and Evans. They will be off the board by the time the Chiefs make their pick.

Others probably will as well. But at least one among Cooks, Beckham and Lee could be there when the Chiefs pick. From here, Beckham looks like the best fit for the Chiefs. He runs well after the catch, an important quality for a receiver, particularly given quarterback Alex Smith's affinity for shorter throws. Beckham also has the best kick return potential.

The draft is deep in receivers, so if the Chiefs choose at another position in the first round, the odds increase they will go with a receiver in another round. Kiper Jr. and McShay have Clemson's Martavis Bryant, Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders and Pittsburg State's John Brown as receivers who have sleeper possibilities in the mid to late rounds.

McShay Mock 3.0 reax: Chiefs

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
Todd McShay’s latest mock draft Insider is out, but his pick for the Kansas City Chiefs remains the same. He still has Louisiana State wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. going to the Chiefs with their first-round pick, which is 23rd overall.

You’ve heard this from me before but it bears repeating: A wide receiver makes a ton of sense for the Chiefs from both the short and long terms. A fast wide receiver like Beckham could give the Chiefs in 2014 an element they lacked with any kind of consistency last year. Long range, the Chiefs have to begin preparing for the day when Dwayne Bowe is no longer their No. 1 receiver. Bowe had the least productive full season of his career last year and he turns 30 in September.

Beckham also would provide the Chiefs with a return threat, something they might otherwise lack. Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps, two of their top returners last season, are scheduled to be free agents.

As McShay points out, the Chiefs could use an immediate boost at other positions as well. They must do something at free safety, though they think a lot of Sanders Commings, a draft pick last year and the strongest in-house candidate to fill the job. They could also use another talented body for their defensive line, among other needs.

But ignoring their shortcomings at wide receiver is particularly risky. Chiefs wide receivers last season were last in catches (120), yards (1,544) and first downs (76). They were tied for 28th in touchdowns (9).

So if the Chiefs like Beckham and think he can be that solution both short and long term, it’s a mistake to pass on him.