For a team that prides itself on running the football—and for good reason with Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and a solid offensive line leading the way—the Kansas City Chiefs have just as good a group of wide receivers and tight ends to match.
Since coming over from the New England Patriots prior to the 2009 season, general manager Scott Pioli has done a tremendous job of ridding the Chiefs’ organization of Carl Peterson’s missteps.
While Peterson was an astute businessman—turning the Chiefs into one of the more profitable franchises during his tenure—his dealings as general manager were not as sound. He kept the Chiefs in a perpetual tailspin of aging players with bad contracts as his time wore thin in Kansas City.
The receiving corps wasn’t in too bad of shape when Pioli took over, but only because it was void of overall talent and depth—other than Dwayne Bowe and tight end Tony Gonzalez. Piolo has focused on surrounding quarterback Matt Cassel with a variety of pass-catching weapons via free agency or the draft.
While Bowe is the only holdover, the Chiefs signed wide receiver Steve Breaston to join draftees Dexter McCluster, Jon Baldwin, Devon Wylie and Junior Hemingway at the position. They also inked tight end Kevin Boss this offseason to help ease Tony Moeaki back from a torn ACL he suffered last preseason.
Although Bowe has yet to sign his franchise tender or a long-term contract to stay in Kansas City, he is expected to suit up for the Chiefs this season. Until his arrival at training camp, Baldwin and the others will receive plenty of work in preparation for the 2012 season.
With only one ball to spread around—and the Chiefs focusing on their running game—their receivers will need to be an efficient group, rather than home run hitters.
Assuming health and contracts aren’t problems going forward, here are stat predictions for the wide receivers and tight ends listed above for the 2012 season.
72 receptions for 972 yards (13.5 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns
60 receptions for 810 yards (13.5 yards per reception) and six touchdowns
44 receptions for 462 yards (10.5 yards per reception) and two touchdowns
36 receptions for 306 yards (8.5 yards per reception) and two touchdowns
28 receptions for 252 yards (9.0 yards per reception) and two touchdowns
16 receptions for 216 yards (13.5 yards per reception) and zero touchdowns
40 receptions for 420 yards (10.5 yards per reception) and three touchdowns
33 receptions for 363 yards (11.0 yards per reception) and three touchdowns