As is customary at the NFL Scouting Combine, NFL teams are meeting with prospects this week in Indianapolis to get a feel for certain players before and/or after they take the field to display their physical abilities as part of the pre-draft process.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, they met with one player, in particular, that is piquing the interest of those following the team.
Georgia wide receiver George Pickens told reporters at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine that he met with the Chiefs, along with several other teams, according to Charles Goldman of the Chiefs Wire.
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“Georgia WR George Pickens told reporters that he met with the Chiefs, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers,” Goldman wrote on March 2. “He didn’t specify whether the interviews were formal or informal, but it’s important to remember that teams meet with most players in some capacity at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.”
Pickens suffered a torn ACL in the spring of 2021 and was able to rehab back in time to play the final four games of the 2021 season for Georgia. In those games, he recorded five catches for 107 yards — 21.4 yards per catch, according to Sports Reference. He led the Bulldogs in receiving yards (52) during the team’s National Championship victory over Alabama on January 10.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver ran an official 4.47 40-yard dash at the Combine, per NFL.com.
As Goldman wrote, there isn’t much to be taken away from the fact that Pickens met with Kansas City in Indy. However, it does bring about the question as to whether the Chiefs will try to address their wide receiver depth this offseason via the draft instead of free agency, or both.
Chiefs WR Depth Needs to be Addressed
Typically, Kansas City’s offense has been highly productive funneling the ball to wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. However, the 2021 season showed that the Chiefs need a third, reliable pass-catcher in their offense to produce at an elite level moving forward.
Third-year wideout Byron Pringle had a career year this past season, as he set career-highs in targets (60), catches (42), yards (568), and touchdowns (5), per Pro Football Reference. However, Pringle and fellow receiver Demarcus Robinson are pending free agents, with the former set to earn a payday that might be too large for Kansas City to match.
Mecole Hardman — a receiver the Chiefs spent a second-round pick on in 2019 — also set career-highs in targets (83), catches (59), and yards (693), according to Pro Football Reference. Despite the career year, Hardman doesn’t appear to be the explosive third option in the passing game quarterback Patrick Mahomes needs to provide consistency within Kansas City’s passing game.
Veteran wideout Josh Gordon was signed with the hope that he’d be the answer to Kansas City’s problems opposite of Tyreek Hill. However, his impact was minimal in his first season with the Chiefs (five catches, 32 yards). Gordon, 30, doesn’t look like the same All-Pro player he once was with the Cleveland Browns.
So, bringing in a No. 2 receiver that can consistently threaten defenses opposite of Hill is one of the top priorities for Kansas City this offseason.
Twitter Reacts to Chiefs Meeting With Pickens
Twitter users reacted to Kansas City meeting with Pickens at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“If the Chiefs do take a defensive player with the 30th pick, it would be nice to take George Pickens at 62 if he’s still on the board,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The Chiefs have met with Georgia WR George Pickens. Could he be the WR2 the Chiefs have been missing?” another user wrote.
“If George Pickens is available at 30 and the Chiefs DON’T taken him, I will give Brett Veach the meanest noogie of his life,” another user wrote.