KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Of all the position groups, wide receiver might be the one that makes the least sense for the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the upcoming draft.
But the latest mock draft by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chiefs taking a wide receiver, Zay Jones. Nothing against Jones, who caught 158 passes as a senior at East Carolina. Still, the Chiefs can do better than Jones, if it’s not at wide receiver.
Between the Chiefs’ first-round history with general manager John Dorsey running the draft and their depth chart at receiver, it’s unlikely they would go with a wideout with their top pick. Dorsey has habitually picked at so-called premium positions in the first round (left tackle Eric Fisher in 2013, pass-rusher Dee Ford in 2014, cornerback Marcus Peters in 2015). The Chiefs didn’t pick in the first round last year.
A wide receiver like Jones doesn’t fit the profile. Dorsey and the Chiefs could veer off this course. But receiver would be an odd position for them to do so. The Chiefs haven’t drafted a wide receiver above the third round since Dorsey’s arrival.
The Chiefs have drafted a receiver in each of the past two years and two last year, counting Tyreek Hill. They picked Chris Conley in the third round in 2015 and Demarcus Robinson in the fourth round in 2016.
The Chiefs don’t appear ready to give up on either player, Conley in particular. They don’t believe he has reached his potential.
Jeremy Maclin missed four games last season with a groin injury and didn’t play like a No. 1 wide receiver most of the time when he was in the lineup. He’ll be 29 in May, but the Chiefs are counting on him to bounce back and that’s probably a good guess. The 2016 season was the worst of his career.
The Chiefs, particularly if Maclin rebounds and Conley continues to improve, have enough threats at receiver. They also have Hill and tight end Travis Kelce and are likely to draft a back who is more of a receiving threat than either Spencer Ware or Charcandrick West, their two primary runners last season.
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Chiefs were to take a wide receiver at some point in the draft. They have 10 picks.
But they have more pressing matters than to take one in the first round.