NFL Draft: Chiefs made the most interesting pick of 1st round with speedy Xavier Worthy


We’ll forget about Patrick Mahomes stomping around the sideline last season, yelling at officials when he was presumably just upset at how his receivers were struggling. Winning a Super Bowl makes that a funny tale for the “America’s Game” episode.

Mahomes was smiling after the first round of the NFL Draft. Xavier Worthy should have been too.

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If you were to play matchmaker for a player and a team in the first round of the draft, Worthy to the Kansas City Chiefs would have been a great answer. That happened when the Chiefs traded up — somewhat inexplicably with the Buffalo Bills, who desperately need a receiver and are chasing the Chiefs in the AFC — and took Worthy with the 28th pick. Worthy made a name for himself by running a 4.21-second 40-yard dash, which is the fastest recorded time in NFL scouting combine history. Now he’ll pair with Mahomes, one of the greatest deep throwers in NFL history. And Andy Reid, one of the most creative offensive coaches the league has seen.

All of a sudden, the Chiefs’ receiver woes that were dissected all last regular season don’t seem so bad.

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Maybe it won’t work out. Players bust all the time and there are some questions about Worthy. But it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Mahomes couldn’t hide his excitement on social media right after the Worthy pick.

Mahomes also reposted a message from Chiefs linebacker Drue Tranquill.

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If Reid was on social media he might have had an excited message or two as well. It’s also possible he was up late Thursday night drawing up some new plays for Worthy and his world-class speed. Or he just dusted off his playbook from a couple years ago.

The Chiefs helped make a star out of Tyreek Hill, one of the fastest receivers in NFL history. Hill is a multi-talented player who is more than just speed, and he has proven that he’s not just a product of the Chiefs’ offense with two fantastic seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Worthy has a long way to go as a player before a comparison to Hill is earned.

But it’s also easy to imagine Worthy making the same type of game-breaking plays that Hill did when he was with the Chiefs. Not many people have the type of speed that Hill and Worthy do, and Worthy will remind you that there’s more to his game than just his straight-line speed.

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Mahomes and Reid were able to make some magic with Hill. Now the back-to-back champs get a player who, if we go simply by 40 time, will be the fastest in the NFL the moment he makes his debut. It doesn’t seem fair.

Xavier Worthy was an intriguing first-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Xavier Worthy was an intriguing first-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The Chiefs won it all last season in spite of some issues at receiver. Rashee Rice came along late last season and that helped, though his status is uncertain as he faces multiple charges stemming from a hit and run accident in Dallas.

The Chiefs signed Marquise Brown, a former first-round pick, to a cheap one-year deal. Rice will presumably be on the field at some point this season. Oh, Travis Kelce is still around at tight end. And Worthy adds a dimension that could open up the entire offense.

The Chiefs said Thursday night that Worthy can also contribute as a returner, which is intriguing with the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

Worthy could end up disappointing. Everyone will point to John Ross, the former combine record holder in the 40-yard dash who was a top 10 pick to the Cincinnati Bengals and never panned out. Reid’s offense is complicated and it’s hard for rookies to have a big role in it right away. The Chiefs are chasing a historic third straight Super Bowl and might not have the patience to live with any rookie mistakes Worthy makes.

Also, Worthy is just 165 pounds, and that can be a hindrance in the NFL.

But it’s sure fun to think about the possibilities. Not every exciting draft prospect ends up in a great situation that fits his skill set. If Worthy can’t succeed with the Chiefs, it just wasn’t meant for him to be an NFL star. Worthy landing in Kansas City is a really good outcome for the team and player.

There were some fun picks in the first round. All the quarterbacks landed in good spots, thought it should be a while before we see Michael Penix Jr. start with the Atlanta Falcons. Other star receivers landed in good spots. Plenty of teams fit their needs with talented players.

But the most interesting pick of the first round came from the reigning champs. If the Chiefs-Worthy combination hits, the rest of the NFL will regret letting it happen.

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