Kansas City Chiefs: The Hill problem and who will fill it

Kansas City Chiefs: The Hill problem and who will fill it

The Kansas City Chiefs may have a giant sized hole in their passing offence in 2019. This will be filled from the draft or from within their roster. They need somebody to put their hand up and deliver, who will this be?


 

The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping a resolution on Tyreek Hill will be made prior to the reigning Hesiman trophy winner, Kyler Murray’s name being announced as the first pick  in the 2019 NFL draft. Assuming that Hill will be suspended, as that is the trending popular opinion, there will be a giant hole left in the Chief’s offence. A hole the size of 87 receptions on a whopping 137 targets and 1,479 yards to be filled (to go with the 22 rush attempts and 151 rushing yards), but that’s another story.

NFL Draft

This hole could be filled by the Chiefs in the first or second round of the NFL draft. After all they do have the 29th selection, putting them in the A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown (like for like replacement for Hill) sweepstakes or any other wide receiver they desire bar N’Keal Harry or D.K. Metcalf, whom I believe will already have their fate decided.

Kansas City’s defense has many holes too, therefore I believe they will forgo a wide receiver in the first round. Instead, they will target a wide receiver in the second, at either pick 61 or 63 (obtained from the Rams) regardless of whether a decision has been made on Hill (Brett Veach, Chiefs GM will want to hedge his bets). This potentially puts into play talented wide receivers such as Deebo Samuel from South Carolina, Georgia’s Riley Ridley, Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside, NC States Kelvin Harmon and Ohio States Terry McLaurin who is climbing draft boards at a rapid rate.

If drafted, I expect them to have a significantly better rookie season in terms of looks and yardage than say Anthony Miller of the Chicago Bears. Miller had similar grading / hype coming into last year’s draft as the players mentioned above. In Miller’s rookie campaign, he finished with 33 receptions for 423 yards at 12.8 yards per catch and seven touchdowns.

The Patrick Mahomes factor

I expect them to outperform Miller largely due to the Patrick Mahomes factor. The super talented reigning MVP was phenomenal in his sophomore season, throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. While I expect a slight regression, with or without Hill, there will be targets to be filled in Hill’s absence.

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce will be hard pressed to top his outstanding previous campaign of 103 receptions, 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. The fact remains, however, he will start the season as Mahome’s favorite and most trusted target in Hill’s probable absence. If that’s the case then 110+ receptions wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities.

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Sammy Watkins

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The former 4th overall selection in the 2014 draft, Sammy Watkins looks to be the major benefactor from this whole ordeal. Watkins is being paid as an elite WR1 without performing like one. (He will have a staggering $19,200,000 cap hit this upcoming season).

Watkins’ talent has never been questioned. He was selected in the draft ahead of other star wide receivers such as Mike Evans and Odell Beckham. The pedigree remains for the former Clemson product. His signature was highly sought after during free agency. The Packers and the Cowboys were among his suitors despite coming off a rather pedestrian 593 yards and eight touchdowns in his lone season for the rams.

Watkins played in 15 games his sole season at the Rams which was a significant step forward from his previous campaign at the Bills. He managed only 8 games due to his well publicized right foot injury.

Watkins debut season at the Chiefs saw him play in just 10 games with his troublesome foot injury resurfacing. He finished with 519 receiving yards with 40 receptions on 55 targets for 3 touchdowns. While these numbers don’t jump out at you, they are respectable numbers for the games he played. Watkins has been a better NFL player than his fantasy numbers indicate. Watkins played during the play offs and seemed unaffected by his foot injury. The popular belief is that Watkins won’t require another surgery for his troublesome foot.

Remarkably, Watkins is still only 26 years of age and is set for a monster fantasy season providing massive upside to his long suffering dynasty owners should Hill miss time. If Hill does miss time then expect his ADP to climb to the third round in redraft leagues. Watkins will post WR1 numbers and finish in the top 12 should Hill be suspended for the season, and finally deliver on his exuberant contract, provided he stays healthy that is.

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