ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Having seen for three weeks of training camp how the Kansas City Chiefs’ considerable speed at wide receiver is working with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce couldn’t contain his optimism.
“Anything we want to do,” Kelce said when asked what the speed of top four wide outs Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and rookie Mecole Hardman would allow the Chiefs to accomplish. “You name it. We’ve got 4.2, 4.3, maybe 4.1. I don’t know what Tyreek runs now. Who knows? We’ve got guys that can absolutely fly all over the field. Speed kills in this game. If you’ve got it, you’re in the advantage.
“We’re taking it up a level (from) year’s past. You can just tell from the coaches’ excitement to their attention to detail to how guys are reacting to their coaching. This team is going to be awesome. We’re going to have a lot of fun on the offensive side of the ball.”
The Chiefs drafted Hardman, who ran a 4.33 40 at the scouting combine this year, to add to their receiving group. Hill, perhaps the NFL’s fastest player, ran a 4.24 40 at his Pro Day when coming out for the draft. The 211-pound Watkins ran a 4.43 40 when he was coming out for the draft while Robinson was in the 4.5 range.
Hardman showed his speed in last week’s preseason opener against the Bengals by taking a short pass and outrunning several defenders for a 17-yard touchdown. Some Chiefs fans have taken to calling the speedy receivers, “The Legion of Zoom.”
“I can’t, honestly,” Mahomes said when asked whether he could imagine a faster receiving group. “We’ve got guys that can roll, guys that really stretch the field. It really makes my job a lot easier. We’re able to stretch the field vertically and horizontally. You can either take the deep pass and throw it like that or throw it out in the flat and these guys can all take it 70 yards to the house.
“Adding Mecole and having Sammy back healthy this year is even going to help more. Defenses have to really pick and choose which matchups they want to take . . . We look at the matchups and trust that the receivers are going to win.”