Coming into this season, the Kansas City Chiefs face a few big questions. Where are Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers? What is the plan with Alex Smith? Who will be the starting safety with Eric Berry? And the big one: who will be the go-to receivers?
Donnie Avery is slotted in at the number two receiver as he was last year for the Chiefs and as he was two years ago with the Colts.
Looking back two years ago to why the Colts decided Avery was not worth a contract extension, he was top in the league in drop-rate per catchable ball at 16.67% with 12 drops for the season. After just one year with the Colts, Avery was out of Indy.
Insert the Chiefs last year.
What in the world was the front office thinking when they thought after the season he had with the Colts he could come in and be a reliable number two receiver? That is beyond me.
Avery came in to play opposite of Dwayne Bowe and be a reliable deep threat as he has the speed to do it. Avery’s unpolished route running and inability to get separation led to only 72 targets last year as the number two receiver. Of those 72 he caught 40 of them and dropped five of them.
While Avery improved in catching balls that were catchable, he still had a few big drops and his complete inability to get open was extremely frustrating for all fans and especially Alex Smith, who was not given all the tools needed to get to the next level.
Looking at what little Avery brings to the table, coming into camp coach Andy Reid will be watching guys like A.J. Jenkins very closely to see if they could surpass him.
A guy like Jenkins, who was drafted in the 1st round and showed glimpses of his potential at Illinois, could finally get the shot he has been looking for. Jenkins has had his difficulties since being drafted by the 49ers but has the ability to get things headed in the right direction and be a playmaker.
He does not have Avery type speed but that is the only area that Avery has him on. His much taller and lengthier build is a quarterback’s dream come true as he can stretch out and get balls and go up with the best of them and come down with the ball.
If Jenkins comes to camp to play and shows Andy Reid enough come September, the Chiefs fans might get a chance to see something new and promising from a receiving corps that has been so dismal for so long.