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What should we expect from Dexter McCluster?
When the Chiefs selected McCluster with the 36th overall selection in the draft, many were critical and thought it was a wasted pick because Kansas City has a fast, explosive running back already in the fold in Jamaal Charles. Plus, the Chiefs have a ton of needs other than running back with Charles and Thomas Jones to carry the rock.
But look at it another way. Look at McCluster as a wide receiver first, but also as someone who can get carries as a running back and can certainly contribute as a return man. Now you have something. The Chiefs' coaching staff desperately needed their version of Wes Welker, and McCluster should be that person. When comparing the two, McCluster is smaller, but he isn't any less physical, and frankly, he is more gifted than Welker in terms of big-play ability, make-you-miss agility and overall explosiveness. There is potential for McCluster to turn into a "Welker Plus" when you consider his added big-play ability and versatility to contribute at other positions.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, however, there is a lot for McCluster to work on. Welker is an absolute master route runner. He has an amazing feel for deciphering coverage and acting accordingly in a very short amount of time. He runs option routes from the slot as well as anyone in recent memory, and he and his quarterback know exactly where he ends up on every snap. Welker also has tremendous hands and is as reliable a player as there is in this league when he's healthy. He is an extension of the running game.