In a shocking move, the Kansas City Chiefs bid farewell to receiver Jeremy Maclin Friday. This is good news for Raiders fans as Maclin had 12 catches for 149 yards and three TDs on the team in 2015. He didn’t get the opportunity to do much against the Raiders in 2016 but it’s still good he’s gone.
Tyreek Hill emerged for the Chiefs in the slot and as a deep threat in 2016. And freak athlete Chris Conley will get a chance to step his game up in 2017 to help the Chiefs’ passing game. But Maclin is a 1st-round pick and an established No. 1 receiver while the Chiefs have no reliable chain-mover at receiver now.
The way it looks now, the Chiefs are going to do it the way the L.A. Raiders did it in the ’80s. They’ll have tight end Travis Kelce as their No. 1 receiver and chain-mover with speed around him. The Raiders did that with Todd Christensen at tight end with Cliff Branch, Dokie Williams and other speed receivers around him.
The Raiders now have 2017 1st-round pick Gareon Conley at corner to match up with the speed of Hill. And 2nd-round pick Obi Melifonwu at 6’4″, 225 pounds, will be at strong safety to match up with Kelce. Those two matchups could ultimately decided who wins both games between the Raiders and the Chiefs.
This is going to be an interesting AFC West battle in 2017.