The Kansas City Chiefs saw massive changes to their WR core, leading to new questions about where the Chiefs offense is going to get production?
Quentin Morris @Quentincmorris
Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
Out of the top four WR on the depth chart three of them are new additions. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are free agent signings from Pittsburgh and Green Bay. Skyy Moore was taken 54th overall in the 2022 NFL draft. Mecole Hardman has become the longest tenured in the group despite still being on his rookie contract.
Smith-Schuster has had an up and down career. His best year came back in 2018 when he had 111 receptions, 1426 yards and 7 touchdowns. His worst season came last year with 15 receptions, 129 yards and no touchdowns. However, he only played in five games before he was sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury.
Smith-Schuster did have Ben Roethlisberger as his QB in 2019, a year when the QB had season ending elbow surgery. This could account for the dip in production Smith-Schuster had during the 2019 season, where he had 42 receptions, 552 yards and 3 touchdowns. His production did rebound the following year with 97 receptions, 831 yards and a career high 9 touchdowns.
These are the numbers that the Chiefs can expect from their new free agent signing. Besides TE Travis Kelce, Smith-Schuster is the number one receiver for the upcoming season. A big argument for this is not just because of his production but actually his route tree.
Smith-Schuster has the ability to play both in the slot and outside the numbers. He also has experience running routes all across the field. The steelers had him run everything from deep post routes to over the middle slants from the slot. This allows him to be productive in an Andy Reid offense that is notorious for its complexity and pre-snap movement.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a burner. He ran a 4.37 40 yard dash. That is only .04 seconds slower than Mecole Hardman. Unlike Smith-Schuster, Valdes-Scantling had one of the best QBs in the league throwing to him in Aarron Rodgers. His production does not necessarily reflect that. His year came back in 2020. He had 33 receptions, 690 yards and 6 touchdowns. What stands out in the stat line is the average yards per reaction that year was 20.9. This is what The chiefs are looking to bring to their offense with Valdes-Scantling. His other years of production are around 30 receptions, 500 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Valdes-Scantling does have history in the running game. He has run the ball 8 times in his career. With him coming to Kansas City it is believable that his running game can become a much more important part of his production.
Moore is a rookie out of Western Michigan. NFL.com had him rated as a good prospect. He led his team in yards with 1,292 and had 10 touchdowns. These are unrealistic expectations for him coming into the season.
Reid has been a head coach since 1999. Out of all of those seasons he has never had a rookie with a 1,000 yard season. Some players have come close like Desean Jackson back in 2008 who had 912 yards. However he had 120 targets, an amount Moore will not get close to.
All of that is combined with the fact that the Chiefs have the most productive TE over a six year period in NFL history. This means that Moore is going to be the fifth receiving option on the team. His numbers are probably going to look like former fifth receiving option Demarcus Robinson Moore will have around 300 yards receiving, 2 or 3 touchdowns with 30 receptions.