- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
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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. 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.