Should We Be Panicking Over the Wide Receivers?

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There is a lot of angst in Chiefs Kingdom over the Chiefs current group of wide receivers, which is understandable. The group was already viewed as being on the weaker side in 2022, and now 1,230 receiving yards in the form of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman are on other teams, with another 320 yards in the form of Justin Watson still unsigned.

The team is obviously counting on Skyy Moore to take a jump in his second season (which history suggests should happen), and for Kadarius Toney to see an expanded role after he has a full offseason to learn the system. But there is still a lot of very legitimate concern here. Last year we already depended heavily on Kelce, who is going to be 34 this season. And Toney has a long history of injury, so it’s likely we’ll have several games without him.

So what’s the plan?

The Chiefs Were Never High On Smith-Schuster Or Hardman

While fans may like these guys, it’s clear that the team has never really viewed them as important pieces. Obviously they had high hopes for Hardman when they drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft, but since then they have never seemed to be interested in trying to extend him. Even Hardman himself said that the Chiefs never pursued him as far as he knew (and that tends to be something you would know if it had happened).

As for Smith-Schuster, the team obviously like him enough to bring him in, but their actions have spoken very loudly that they only want him at a very low price. They pursued hen he was a free agent in 2021, but allowed him to return to Pittsburgh for $8 million. Last offseason they went after him again, but this time signed him at a deep discount of $3.7 million. Then this offseason they apparently put up little resistance when the Patriots gave him a 3 year deal at $8.5 million per year.

This isn’t a case of Veach being cheap and letting quality players walk. In his mind these guys were very replaceable, so he was always going to let them walk unless they could get a good deal.

Reid Succeeds Without Great Receivers

Outside of Mahomes’ early years when he had the duo of Kelce and Hill along with the overpaid but underrated Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs have never really had much at receiver during Reid’s tenure. And Mahomes in particular has never been hampered when the receiving talent around him was lacking.

For example, in week 11 against the Chargers the Chiefs’ receivers looked very similar to what they do now. Neither Smith-Schuster nor Hardman played, and even Toney only saw 14 snaps. Yet Mahomes dominated anyway, putting up 329 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions, and only being sacked once, with the offense as a whole only punting twice.

When you have Mahomes and Reid, a great receiving corps just isn’t necessary.

There’s Still The Draft

This situation, of the Chiefs not looking very good at a position heading into the draft, has actually been a yearly occurrence recently, and at least so far they have managed to fill in those holes adequately.

Going into the 2021 offseason, the offensive line had just been brutalized in the Super Bowl, and the long time anchors of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were too injured to continue playing at a high level. They did trade for Orlando Brown and sign Joe Thuney, but that was not near good enough heading into the draft. But after those 3 days they had picked up Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, turning a disaster of an offensive line into one of the best in the league.

A similar story happened in 2022. Outside of L’Jarius Sneed, the cornerbacks on the team looked suspect to say the least. But after the Tyreek Hill trade the Chiefs found themselves with a small army of draft picks, and used 3 of them on cornerbacks. While not as dominant as the offensive line revolution the year before, the three rookies played at such a high level that the team felt comfortable trading away veteran Rashad Fenton for a conditional 7th round pick.

And now in 2023 we are facing a weak receiver room. Even though we again have tons of draft picks that can be used to address it, I would argue that the position is not nearly as bad as the 2021 offensive line and the 2022 cornerbacks were. We do need to add a receiver or two (right now there are only 3 receivers on the roster that had more than 20 yards last year), they don’t have to be guys who have to be relied upon to be the #1 or #2 receiver.

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NovaChiefs
03/27/2023 4:14 pm

Two words. Albert Wilson. If Patrick can make him look like he’s worth millions, we good

zulu trader
03/27/2023 3:28 pm

Justyn Rosscomment image

Last edited 1 year ago by zulu trader
ChiefDog
Reply to  zulu trader
03/27/2023 4:47 pm

FUTURE IS BRIGHT WITH THIS ONE!

Learn About Chiefs WR Justyn Ross | Meet the Undrafted Free Agents
(video on chiefs.com) https://www.chiefs.com/video/learn-about-chiefs-wr-justyn-ross-meet-the-undrafted-free-agents

Last edited 1 year ago by ChiefDog
probablyamistake
03/27/2023 1:43 pm

Did that last year, not doing it again.

gonzangkc11
03/27/2023 1:12 pm

NOT WORRIED @ ALL about WR. Maybe chiefs still sign a veteran wr (Landry or tbd)

Resign Justin Watson & McKinnon. Chiefs have dominate TE & a LEGIT rb. Offensive line will be top 10…maybe top 5 again.

Defense will be way better this year.

Like I wasn’t worried chiefs would beat eagles in SB

hoosierchief
03/27/2023 12:17 pm

We were supposed to be decimated when we lost Tyreek, but seemed to do okay. Seems like every time one of our better receivers were out with an injury the last couple of years, some other guy will have a career game and pick up the slack. I’m comfortable that Mahomes and Reid can make things work.

upamtn
03/27/2023 11:32 am

comment image

Team Player
Reply to  upamtn
03/27/2023 1:35 pm

Does anyone know if David Letterman actually *tried* to look like Alfred E. Neuman – or was it merely coincidence?

Last edited 1 year ago by Team Player
ChiefDog
Reply to  Team Player
03/27/2023 4:49 pm

comment image

SuperMegaChief
03/27/2023 11:22 am

I am concerned. Our current crop of receivers have durability concerns. Drafting a receiver doesn’t help this year so we are looking at a core that is flimsy at best. If Kelce goes down, we are going to be i trouble. MVS is inconsistent, KT is injury prone, Moore is developing and both Ross and Ross are coming back from injury and unknown. I’d feel better with a solid veteran on hand.

zulu trader
Reply to  SuperMegaChief
03/27/2023 3:26 pm

Like OBJ ?

KCChef
Reply to  zulu trader
03/27/2023 3:35 pm

Naaaa …. I say Wait’ll the Post June 1 Cuts from Other Teams are Known … ; )

SuperMegaChief
Reply to  zulu trader
03/27/2023 4:07 pm

Doesn’t have to be. I just want a solid guy who is pretty durable. I agree with KCChef and wait for post June 1 cuts.

ArrowFan
03/27/2023 11:08 am

As long as Kelce is healthy there isn’t a problem. However the day he gets hurt or slows down. We will need to replace his production with someone. Primarily his ability on 3rd down.

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