The Chiefs offense had a very ordinary effort Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons, but UDFA Jeremy Horne almost delivered two huge plays in the second half when he blew past his man on fly patterns. Both times Brodie Croyle missed him, but his effort was not missed by the fans or coaching staff. Josh Looney reports that Horne was back at it during Kansas City’s first practice since the game in Atlanta.
Brodie Croyle hit Horne in stride for a big gain down the left sideline on a nearly identical route as the two balls that fell incomplete on Friday night. Horne got a nice round of applause from the crowd and the attention of his head coach with the deep catch.
“This kid, he’s shown skill,” Haley said. “He can run, he can get off the line, but with him, like a lot of these guys, it’s going to be that other side of trying to become a talented football player.”
Shortly after bringing in the big catch, Horne had a rookie moment. After catching yet another impressive football right at the first down marker, Horne retracted one-to-two yards as he prepared to make a move up field. In a game, that backwards step might have been the difference between moving the sticks and a fourth-and-short situation.
A glance at the Chiefs roster will show that there is probably only one job to be had at wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe, Chris Chambers, Dexter McCluster and Jerheme Urban should be locks. Terrance Copper is a Haley-favorite that excels on special teams and should also have a roster spot all but locked up.
That leaves five players for what will likely only be one spot, with Quinten Lawrence and Horne looking like the two fighting to be the last man standing. Lawrence has benefit of having been around Haley from the beginning after being drafted in the fifth round of last year’s draft, but Horne brings something unique to the table: size and speed. Only Urban is listed as being taller than Horne and he doesn’t posses nearly the type of speed as the rookie from UMass. In his short time in Kansas City, Horne also appears to be a very physical receiver something that is rare with burners and is completely absent from Lawrence’s game.
In our predictions of “The Right 53”, I have had Horne winning that final battle with Lawrence each of the last two weeks. If he continues to perform like he did today and on Friday, he will quickly distance himself from the rest of the receivers hoping to catch on as the team’s last receiver.