The Kansas City Chiefs have a young wide receiver group, but another talented player in the mix wouldn’t hurt. JuJu Smith-Schuster of USC may be that player.
Many pundits have had the Kansas City Chiefs drafting a wide receiver early in their mock drafts. With the youth and talent of the Chiefs wide receiver group, I don’t know that this will be the case. However, if John Dorsey should decide to take a receiver, I don’t know that there is a better fit for the team than USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Kansas City Chiefs passing game was not very strong last season. A lot of the blame for that goes to Alex Smith and Andy Reid. However, there is some blame to be shared with Jeremy Maclin and Chris Conley. Maclin had a very down year for a variety of reasons. Conley showed improvement, but nowhere near as much as he should have.
On top of that, Albert Wilson is a restricted free agent and not guaranteed to be back. DeAnthony Thomas has seen less and less of a role every year. Demarcus Robinson has tons of potential, but saw no playing time on offense last year. So there is absolutely room for the Chiefs to make a change in their wide receiver corps.
The Chiefs version of the West Coast Offense features receivers that catch short passes and then run with the ball. So having guys that can get open, catch the ball, and get upfield is of vital importance. If the KC receiving corps struggles, the rest of the offense will struggle as well.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR – USC
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Coming into the 2016 NCAA football season, many pundits believed the wide receiver group was a two horse race between Mike Williams of Clemson and JuJu Smith-Schuster of USC. However, as the season went on, Smith-Schuster began to fall off of the radar after a variety of mishaps. That was foolish as a change at quarterback for the Trojans put the star wideout back in the thick of things.
JuJu Smith-Schuster features an impressive build at 6’2 and 220 lbs. Plays strong and fierce, never backing down over the middle or with contested catches. Uses his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Very reliable hands and excellent concentration. Shows a natural ability as a blocker downfield. Smith-Schuster also has quality acceleration if not great speed.
The negatives on JuJu Smith-Schuster are in regards to his speed. He is only average in that department, and doesn’t take the top off of a defense. He doesn’t explode out of his cuts, so there isn’t a lot of natural separation created. Smith-Schuster relies a little too much on his size instead of perfecting technique that will give him a better advantage.
While his numbers in the workouts were nothing special, JuJu Smith-Schuster stood out as one of the most polished receivers in the drill portion. He caught everything away from his body, never breaking stride, and ran his routes perfectly. You could tell that the analysts and coaches on hand were all impressed with what he was doing.
JuJu Smith-Schuster might not be the most exciting player the Kansas City Chiefs could draft, on paper. However, it is tough to find a more well-rounded and polished receiver in this draft class. The Chiefs do need a reliable guy to get the ball to on third downs, and Smith-Schuster brings all of those desired traits.