Chiefs Rookie WR Albert Wilson Making an Impact

Over the past three games, Kansas City Chiefs rookie Albert Wilson has been the team’s leading receiver

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It started at training camp.

That's where Kansas City Chiefs undrafted rookie receiver Albert Wilson began to turn heads for those who weren't already familiar with him.

Wilson, who played collegiately at Georgia State (2010-13), holds numerous school records for the Panthers, including most receiving yards in a career (3,190), season (1,177) and game (175), career touchdowns (26), all-purpose yards (6,235), punt return yards (251) and kick return yards (2,338), among others.

Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and the player personnel staff made a concerted effort to bring in Wilson, who went undrafted, to Kansas City last spring.

Wilson had been with the Chiefs during OTAs, but the hype surrounding him really took off when Chiefs fans were able to witness his playmaking ability at training camp, where he was a standout player.

It's those same abilities that Wilson has demonstrated over the past three games for the Chiefs.

Against the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers, Wilson was targeted a combined 20 times with 12 receptions for a team-leading 209 yards.

Before the last three games, Wilson had just four receptions for 51 yards in the eight games he played.

"He's a good young player, a good route runner," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Wilson. "He's not real tall but he's got real good strength and quickness. You see him after the catch and he was a good kick returner in college and you see that. You see his ability to work in space and set up his moves."

Wilson dealt with a high ankle injury early in the season that forced him to miss four games.

Now that Wilson is fully healthy and a significant contributor to this Chiefs passing offense, having led all Chiefs receivers by playing 88 percent of the snaps on Sunday against the Steelers, he's given the offense a spark with his ability to gain yards after the catch.

"The funny thing is I don't think anybody's surprised inside our locker room," quarterback Alex Smith said. "On the offensive side of the ball, we've seen this coming I think from day one.

"I can remember this offseason being excited about him."

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Of Wilson's 209 yards over the past three games, 84 of them have come via yards after the catch.

He's excelling on short, quick bubble screens, intermediate crossing routes and then also vertical routes down the field, just like we saw against the Oakland Raiders and the one close call Sunday against in Pittsburgh, where he had created some separation from the defender.  

Wilson leads the team with a 16.3 yards-per-catch average and of his last 12 receptions, five have gone for 19 yards or more.

He's helping the Chiefs offense pick up chunks of yards, something they had struggled with earlier in the season in the passing game.

Against the Steelers, Wilson had five catches for 87 yards on the day, all of which came in the first half.

"I thought we got out to a good start and everything seemed like it was clicking," Wilson said after the game. "I guess we overwhelmed ourselves of how it was going and we took a step back in the second half. But overall, I feel like we came out with a fight.

Kansas City Chiefs vs the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 21, 2014

"A couple things didn't go our way and like coach [Reid] said, three or four plays changed the whole game."

Proving to be a difference maker over the past three games, Wilson finds himself as one of the young guys in a veteran receiving group that includes eight-year veteran Dwayne Bowe, nine-year veteran Jason Avant and seven-year veteran Donnie Avery.

Wilson appreciates the help he's been getting from his veteran teammates.

"I love it," Wilson said. "I think I came into a great receiving corps where they've been teaching me the system and the game of how to be a veteran even though I'm a rookie. I have three great guys in front of me who have given me everything I need to move forward."

He continued. "It doesn't matter what time of day it is. It can be in the middle of the night and I'm going to give them a call or I'm going to shoot him a text and they respond as soon as possible."

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