In an absolute stunning turn of events, the Kansas City Chiefs traded elite wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday afternoon in exchange for 2022 first, second and fourth-round picks, along with 2023 fourth and sixth-round picks. The Dolphins signed Tyreek Hill to a historic four-year, $120 million contract extension that includes $72.2 million in guarantees. Hill’s departure obviously creates a sizable hole for the Chiefs at the receiver position. Kansas City consistently represented the best environment imaginable for Hill, whose game-changing speed was appropriately utilized by Head Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes throughout his Super Bowl-winning tenure in Kansas City.
Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach now faces the tall task of attempting to replace Hill. Veach is reportedly hosting receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a free-agent visit on Wednesday afternoon but Kansas City will have to do more than simply sign Valdes-Scantling to keep their offense operating at the expected clip in Hill’s absence. Given that we’re already in the second (or third) wave of free agency, the 2022 NFL Draft now represents the best opportunity for Veach to retool and improve his receiver position. The signing of JuJu Smith-Schuster helps, but the Chiefs could look to draft a speedy receiver, too.
The Chiefs now possess two first-round selections (No. 29 and 30 overall) as a result of the Hill trade. We’ve swiftly identified three receivers Veach and the Chiefs could target in April’s draft.
CHRIS OLAVE, WR, OHIO STATE
Chris Olave should represent a realistic and legitimate target with one of Kansas City’s two first-round selections. Olave possesses the game-breaking speed and big-play ability necessary to immediately help the Chiefs replace what they’re losing in Hill. Olave’s rare straight-line speed was well on display at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine when the Ohio State standout ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.39 seconds. And Olave is more than just a speed demon. He’s an excellent and refined route-runner that consistently created separation throughout his time as a Buckeye, a fact that makes him an excellent metaphorical fit alongside the surgical Mahomes in Kansas City’s impending new-look passing offense.
A sudden and explosive athlete, Olave is an easy pro projection that should experience immediate success as a professional. Olave averaged 15.4 yards per reception throughout an impressive four-year collegiate career, further proving he possesses a penchant for the big play. Veach should possess an abundance of interest in placing Olave on the field alongside the likes of tight end Travis Kelce and Smith-Schuster. These three playmakers easily complement one another’s skill set and could quickly give Kansas City one of the most fearsome trios of pass-catching weapons in the league again, despite Hill’s departure.
JAMESON WILLIAMS, WR, ALABAMA
Veach may have to move up in the draft if he hopes to secure Jameson Williams‘ services but he’s now equipped with the draft capital necessary to make an aggressive draft-day trade. Williams is still viewed as a sure-fire bet to get drafted in the top-20 despite suffering an unfortunate torn ACL injury in the first half of Alabama’s National Championship loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. But it’s easy to understand why Williams is still being sought after, despite nursing an injury that may impact his effectiveness throughout his rookie campaign. Williams consistently thrived at running deep-developing routes while pushing the field vertically. Williams would have undeniably posted a jaw-dropping result in the 40-yard dash at the Combine had he been healthy enough to compete.
Williams is a quick-twitch playmaker with the ability to sink his hips and snap off routes efficiently while easily defeating press-man coverage. A receiver that can take the top off opposing secondaries in a moment’s notice, Williams is an easy mover and smooth route runner that is going to put cornerbacks in a blender on Sundays. A 1,000-plus-yard receiver that averaged an astounding 19.9 yards per catch for the dominant Crimson Tide in 2021, Williams would be an excellent fit in the Chiefs’ offense.
GARRETT WILSON, WR, OHIO STATE
The second Ohio State receiver to make an appearance on this list, few playmakers displayed dynamic athleticism and both short-area and straight-line speed at the Combine like Garrett Wilson did. The Austin, Texas native ran the 40-yard dash in a lightning-fast 4.38 seconds with a 20-yard split of 2.55 seconds and a 10-yard split of 1.54 seconds. All three results are considered elite, even when taking several historic combine results into account in 2021. Wilson’s 36-inch vertical and 123-inch broad jump were also solid results, nicely rounding out what’s an excellent and rare athletic profile.
We’ve discussed and explored what the Chiefs are losing in Hill from a deep-ball and vertical threat perspective, but Hill also does excellent after work the catch by threatening to turn a 10-yard designed screen into a 90-yard score on any given touch of the football. Wilson possesses similar run-after-catch ability, an area of his game that makes him more of a like-for-like replacement for Hill going forward. Wilson’s short-area agility makes him a high-upside slot receiver. Today’s NFL offenses are placing an abundance of importance on expert separators from the slot and Wilson is cut from the same cloth. A 1,000-yard receiver that scored 12 touchdowns for the Buckeyes in 2021, Wilson fits Kansas City’s profile like a glove.
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