Patrick’s New Weapons
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Jake White @JakeWhite58
Patrick Mahomes is this generation’s top QB. He has already accomplished more in his career at age 26 than most QBs. The haters and nay-sayers will say that Mahomes is surrounded by uber-talent and would be nothing without them. This season will be the season to test that. The Chiefs traded otherworldly talent WR Tyreek Hill for a mountain of draft stock. This will be Mahomes’ first season without Hill, but the Chiefs didn’t sit quietly without restocking the WR shelves. Let’s see who will be replacing Hill and how they fit into the Chiefs system.
Before Tyreek was traded the Chiefs were already in the market for a receiver. Last year we were linked to Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburg Steelers who resigned with them and aging QB Ben Rothlisberger. This year he signed a one-year contract on a “prove-it” deal. Juju was a superstar rookie in the slot. Being a larger receiver and considered to have above-average hands his ability in the slot is an upgrade over other receivers the Chiefs have employed there. Juju was hurt last year, but if he’s healthy can be the large target receiver that Mahomes needs when he is performing his Mahomes Magic outside the pocket.
Almost immediately after the Tyreek trade, the Chiefs sign the speedy Marquez Valdes-Scantling from the Green Bay Packers. MVS had some of the fastest plays in the NFL last year and was a constant deep-threat for Aaron Rodgers. While his speed is different from Tyreek’s, he still can outrun defenders if needed. Also, MVS is 6’4” and fits the mold the Chiefs seem to be looking for in a receiver for Mahomes. MVS while playing slot in Green Bay will also see more time on the outside to give defenses pause on how to cover the Chiefs.
The Chiefs also drafted highly touted receiver Skyy Moore. A smaller receiver at 5’9” but has many skills that the Chiefs will need without Tyreek. Quick acceleration to get separation from his defender, great hands, and was used on several sweeps and was often seen breaking tackles at the college level. While a shift from how the Chiefs attacked free agency with larger receivers, Moore seems to fit the Tyreek replacement mold. Often described as “quicker than fast” those shifty feet will allow him to make the quick catch and get yards up the field as Tyreek would often do for us. Moore is also an exceptional route runner, coming from a Run-Pass-Option (RPO) scheme, he is familiar with running QB-friendly routes that will allow for Mahomes to see him, see his positioning, and make the quick throw if needed.
The offseason hype pick-up has to be undrafted free agent WR Justyn Ross. If a player is ever in the Brett Veech-Andy Reid mold of a pick this is him. We have seen Brett Veech select a former highly touted prospect, and turn them into what they once were. Trey Smith the most recent was a 1st round lock until a heart diagnosis brought him to us as a 6th round pick. Justyn Ross has a similar story, diagnosed with a spine condition, and was told he may never play football again. He did return and played well until a fracture in his foot set him back. Before his condition, Ross was a sure-fire lock as a 1st round pick much like Jamaar Chase was coming out of LSU. Hopefully, the Chiefs found another diamond in Ross who can return to how talent before his diagnosis. If he can the Chiefs will once again be loaded on offense with the NFL’s best young QB.
The weapons aren’t just located at the WR position. They also signed RB Ronald Jones from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Clyde Edwards-Helaire is slated to be the Chiefs RB1, Andy Reid has often deployed a running back by committee strategy and Jones is just two years removed from a breakout season. The Chiefs are hoping that Jones can find his mojo again when he gets his opportunities. His strength is between the tackles, and with the Chief offensive line excelling in run-blocking last year, this may be a great match for Jones and the Chiefs. A more solidified run game will help bring the pressure off Mahomes and force more defenses to quit that Cover-Two shell the Chiefs faced so often. If they don’t the Chiefs should be able to run the ball at will with CEH and Jones.
Mahomes won’t have any shortage of weapons this year and that doesn’t account for the players already on the roster; Kelce, Hardman, Gordon, and we’re always ready for Jody Fortson! Mahomes will miss Tyreek, but this is an opportunity for the Chiefs to evolve and Mahomes to lead that evolutionary change.