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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Which top WRs fit the KC profile?

By Adam Teicher

We determined long ago the Kansas City Chiefs need to improve at wide receiver. We told you recently what the Chiefs needed to find in an elite receiver. So which receivers in this NFL draft fit that profile?

For the Chiefs, maybe none. Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans look like future stars, but they'll be long gone by the time the Chiefs make their first pick.

I also think LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. would look good with the Chiefs because of his speed, his ability to run after the catch and his skill as a kick returner. But it's probably wishful thinking to expect Beckham to be available to the Chiefs as well.

ESPN's Matt Williamson has Watkins, Evans and Beckham on his list of players who could someday become true No. 1 receivers for some NFL team. He has two others available in the draft, Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and USC's Marqise Lee, as players to watch for that list.

Cooks and Lee could eventually be useful players in the NFL, but they aren't the big-bodied receivers that can help carry a passing game. Two other receivers available in the draft, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin and Indiana's Cody Latimer, are. Benjamin is 6-5 and 240 pounds, but he ran a 4.61 40 at the combine in February, so he isn't particularly fast. He also played just two seasons in college, making him a risky selection.

Latimer recently ran a 4.44 40 at Indiana's pro day. That speed and his size at 6-2 1/2 and 215 pounds make him an intriguing prospect.

The Chiefs don't just need a wide receiver who is able to step in and help as a rookie. Ideally, they would find someone capable of eventually replacing Dwayne Bowe as their go-to receiver. That player may not be available to the Chiefs this year and they may have to get back next year to the chore of finding him.

So there's no reason for the Chiefs to force things here. With Bowe, Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Junior Hemingway and Weston Dressler, the Chiefs can line up and play a game. But they need to get better there and that's why if a receiver is available in the first round and the Chiefs believe he will eventually become a solid player, it's a mistake for them to pass him up.