Patrick Mahomes isn’t among those sleeping on the Chiefs wide receivers after offseason losses, particularly because of one player.
With the way the offseason has played out following the Kansas City Chiefs win in the Super Bowl over the Eagles, wide receiver has been heavily discussed regarding the champs. Put plainly, the pass-catchers for Patrick Mahomes in 2023 will look quite a bit different than a season ago.
The biggest factors in that, of course, are the departures of both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, both of whom played pivotal roles in the passing offense but left for lucrative deals in free agency.
As of now, the plan appears to be for the Chiefs to 2022 trade acquisition, Kadarius Toney, the No. 1 receiver with Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling complimenting him. But there is a need for depth and many have been looking early in the 2023 NFL Draft for the answer.
Though he didn’t outright say it, Mahomes might believe the answer is already on the Chiefs roster: Justyn Ross.
Patrick Mahomes hypes Justyn Ross as Chiefs possible answer at WR
Gathered for the start of Kansas City’s offseason workouts, Mahomes gushed about the talent, work ethic and potential of Ross, a second-year wide receiver undrafted out of Clemson.
“Yeah, I mean, the talent is through the roof,” Mahomes said, via Chiefs Wire. “I think anyone can see that. He’s getting better and better. Even though he wasn’t active all year he was in the building and he was able to see the guys and how we do things. Listening and being in the meetings and some of the stuff like that. I’m excited for him, man. To be able to get out there and get the reps in practice, get the little fine details that we like to do in this offense.”
Ross has been a fan-favorite for the Chiefs thanks to some ridiculous highlight-reel grabs and plays in camp from his rookie season. And it’s not hard to understand the pedigree, or why he was available as a UDFA.
The wide receiver broke onto the scene with a 1,000-yard season at Clemson as a freshman and followed up with a strong 2019 campaign as well. But then it was discovered he had a congenital neck injury that could potentially end his career. He missed all of 2020 as a result and returned in 2021, but was clearly still making his way back.
From the way that Mahomes and others have talked about Ross over the past year, though, it seems like he could be back. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a glimpse of it in his rookie year as a foot injury ended his season. But now healthy again and clearly putting in the work and gaining respect, he could be the secret sauce in the wide receiver depth chart that the Chiefs are looking for now that JuJu and Hardman are gone.
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