KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a different year, same story with new wide receivers for the Kansas City Chiefs.
In 2022, the Chiefs had Mecole Hardman as the lone returner to a wide receiver unit that was once led by Tyreek Hill and role players for a number of years.
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were a couple of big-name signees; Justin Watson came in on a one-year deal, and Skyy Moore was a second-round rookie.
Now in 2023, Smith-Schuster and Hardman are out, but Valdes-Scantling, Moore and Watson all return with a year in the offense under their belt. Kadarius Toney is the expected number-one receiver for the Chiefs’ title defense.
With 11 other receivers on the roster, it makes it a fun unit to watch for the Chiefs early in the offseason.
“We’re deep. I think that’s, that’s the biggest thing,” Mahomes said Wednesday.
“Usually you have a good feel for kind of who, who the guys are gonna be and everything like that. But with this group, it’s like every single guy, you’re like, I can see him making a path and making the team.”
Mahomes said that’s exactly what they want.
“You want that competition,” the Chiefs QB said. “I thought even the young guys that have stepped in have stepped in and done a lot of great things and guys from other systems that have stepped in and done great things.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they’re expecting a strong competition.
“We’ve got a lot of numbers, and we’ve got some young guys that we’re mixing in with the ones there,” Reid said. “It should be great competition. I can’t wait, you know, for camp where you really get an idea of that next level what they can do when things are, bullets are flying.”
Reid has said in multiple instances that Moore will receive an increased role in his second year, and so far he is facing the challenge head-on.
“Yeah, I like what I see, getting strong,” Reid said. “You can tell that he’s worked this off season. He was down [in Fort Worth training] with Pat the whole time and never missed a day with him. So he’s doing a good job. Better understanding.”
Fans are also excited to hopefully see undrafted free agent Justyn Ross on the field. He was once billed as a first-round pick but spent his rookie season rehabbing from foot surgery. His social media clips have fans excited about his journey again.
But former first-round receiver John Ross has impressed in voluntary organized team activities, flashing his elite speed and agility.
“I like both the Rosses, you know, big and little,” Reid said.
“The big one (Justyn at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds) [is] coming along. He feels good. His foot feels good. The surgery that he had worked out well. So up to this point, he’s made some nice plays for us out here. I know Pat’s got trust in him, so that’s good to see.”
“And the smaller Ross (John at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds) is extremely fast and quick. Before he got hurt, he was onto a pretty good season. I like what I see there too.”
John Ross took a year off football in 2022, but his 2021 season saw a return to his scouting report. He tallied 11 catches, 224 yards and a touchdown in his 2021 season with the New York Giants.
While it’s still early in the offseason, the Chiefs have a number of different ways they could maneuver the wide receiver room.