Sammy Watkins returns kicks during Chiefs practice


The Kansas City Chiefs acquired Sammy Watkins this offseason to stretch the field and bring even more speed to an offense already stockpiled with versatile weapons. But in signing the wideout to a three-year deal, has Kansas City also found its next great return man?

During organized team activities Thursday, Watkins was among a large group of Chiefs players spotted returning kicks, per ESPN's Adam Teicher.

A speedy receiver returning kicks in practice isn't a novel concept, but it's worth nothing because Watkins has zero experience fielding kickoffs in the pros. The former Bills and Rams receiver has never returned a kickoff in an NFL game. He did, however, tally 60 kick returns and six punt returns, including one return TD, while at Clemson.

For Watkins to break into Kansas City's return-man rotation would take an impressive audition this offseason. The Chiefs already boast an All-Pro punt returner in Tyreek Hill and still employ one of their capable kick returners from 2017, De'Anthony Thomas, who helped K.C. lead the league in kick return yardage (1,051).

It's uncommon for a receiver of Watkins' pedigree to be a team's main returner. Only four players last season recorded at least 39 receptions (Watkins' total) and 10 kick returns, and three of them were running backs (Alvin Kamara, Tarik Cohen, Jerick McKinnon, Tyler Lockett).

We'll wait and see if Watkins sticks on the kickoff team past K.C.'s offseason workouts -- or even past Thursday.