By: Alfredo Flores (Twitter: @ChxckenAlfredo)
Player Analysis: Jehu Chesson
Before being drafted in the fourth round with the 139 th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, Jehu Chesson spent 5 years at the University of Michigan. Chesson was a 3-star recruit out of high school and committed to Michigan in December of 2011. Chesson spent his first season as a redshirt, helping him develop before seeing any college action.
In 2013 Chesson got some playing time, but mostly as a reserve. Chesson played in 11 games, making two starts at wide receiver, posting a line of 15-221- 1 with a catch rate of 68%. He averaged 14.7 yards per reception on a 6.59% target share. Jehu had an impact on Michigan on special teams, where he recorded 7 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles while returning two kicks for an average of 18 yards. Chesson’s best game of the 2013 season came against #22 Michigan State where he grabbed 3 of 4 passes for 82 yards (27.3 YPR).
Receiving line: 15-221-1
Rushing line: 2-1-0
Return line: 2-36-0
Chesson’s 2014 season wasn’t much to write home about, he grabbed 14 out of 22 passes thrown his way in 8 games (64% catch rate) for 154 yards (11 YPR) with 0 touchdowns on a 10.63% target share. Chesson still saw time on special teams, making 2 more solo tackles and 3 more assisted tackles. Jehu’s best game that year was against #16 Notre Dame where he caught 3/4 passes for 30 yards (10 YPR).
Receiving Line: 14-154-0
The 2015 season was considered Chesson’s break out year. He saw a significant jump in his target share percentage when John Harbaugh and Jake Rudock arrived. Chesson caught 50 passes on 81 targets (62% Catch Rate) for 764 yards (15.3 YPR) to go with 9 touchdowns on a career high 19.52% target share. Playing in 13 games, Jehu was all over the field. He lined up at wide out, tail back, and special teams and posted 12 total touchdowns. Michigan had Chesson rush the ball 8 times for 155 yards (19.4 YPC) and 2 touchdowns. On special teams, Jehu returned 4 kicks for 166 yards (41.5 YPR) with 1 touchdown, also recording 1 solo tackle and 1 more assisted tackle. Chesson committed 3 penalties on the season: a pass interference for 15 yards, a false start for 5 yards, and an illegal block for 13 yards (3-33 yards). Chesson finished the season strong, posting 27-505- 6. He had a monster game against Indiana, catching 10 passes on 13 targets for 207 yards (20.7 YPR) and 4 touchdowns. In primetime against #8 Ohio State, Chesson caught 8 of 12 targets for 111 yards (13.9 YPR) and 1 touchdown. To cap off the season, Jehu caught 5/7 passes in the Citrus Bowl for 118 yards (23.6 YPR) and 1 touchdown, before going down with a leg injury. Chesson received post season awards from Michigan (Bo Schembechler MVP) and the conference coaches (All-Big Ten first team honors).
Receiving line: 50-764- 9 (15.3YPR)
Rushing line: 8-155- 2 (19.4 YPC)
Return line: 4-166- 1 (41.5 YPR)
A new quarterback and rehab of the leg injury prevented him from matching or improving on his numbers from the previous season. Chesson caught 65% of the passes thrown to him (35/54) for 500 yards (14.4 YPR), but only scored 2 touchdowns on a 14.59% target share. He was able to post 12-58- 1 rushing the ball, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Jehu had one penalty to his name (illegal block – 5 yards) and a lost fumble. The best game of this season was against Maryland where he made 5 grabs for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. After the season concluded, the media gave Chesson a mention for All-Big Ten. Jehu was also a candidate for the Biletnikoff & Maxwell Awards.
Receiving line: 35-500-2 (14.4 YPR)
Rushing line: 12-58-1 (4.8 YPC)
In games against ranked opponents, Jehu had steady production. In 11 games, Chesson matched up against top 10 teams 5 times. Chesson had standout games against #8 Ohio State, and #19 Florida (Citrus Bowl – stats listed earlier).
Notably, Chesson has similar physical aspects to Alshon Jeffery. Lofty comparison, but the potential is there.
With Maclin gone, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are the only obvious targets. Behind them are guys like Conley, Wilson, and Robinson none of whom are big time threats. Through 90 games, that trio has a combined total of 143 receptions, 1862 yards, and 5 touchdowns. They’re averaging 1.58 catches, 20.68 yards, and .06 touchdowns, per game! Those numbers are dreadful. None of them currently have a contractual long-term future with the Chiefs so the situation plays out like this: Wilson is signed through the ’17 season, Conley through the ’18 season, Hill/Robinson through the ’19 season. If Chesson can get back up to speed, learn the Kansas City playbook, and surpass these jabronis, he can move up to the WR2 position and see a nice share of the targets behind Kelce/Hill.
Chesson has gotten the praise for being a gritty player and a solid run blocker. With the potential of Mahomes taking over at QB after the ’17 season, Chesson could become more of a deep threat for KC. Right now Jehu is the 26th WR being drafted in rookie drafts according to MFL making him the 67th player being taken. That leaves Chesson in most leagues as an un-drafted player, based on 12 team format with a 4 round draft. He’s a player to keep an eye on and potentially stash. He has a nice size/speed combo and is a solid blocker in the run game. His ability on special teams will definitely help him make the roster, a roster that doesn’t currently have one locked in WR2 at the moment.