Patrick Mahomes is excited about how the Kansas City Chiefs revamped their receiving room.
During a media session on Thursday, the quarterback sounded confident that the team has the pieces in place to be able to replace Tyreek Hill’s production in 2022. Hill averaged 84 receptions for 1,207 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Chiefs over the past five years. This offseason, Kansas City traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks, including first, second and fourth-round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft.
“You’re going to see with this offense this year, it’s going to be everybody. It’s not all going to be one guy,” Mahomes said. “Obviously [Travis Kelce] is still going to get a lot of completions, a lot of yards but the whole receiving room is going to have big days and that can be something we use to our advantage.”
The returning Kelce has established himself as an elite tight end in NFL history. Over the past eight years, he has averaged an astonishing 88 catches for 1,126 yards and seven touchdowns per season. Mecole Hardman has emerged as a viable option for Mahomes, with 126 grabs for 1,791 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first three NFL campaigns. He will be back as well.
Along with Hill, Byron Pringle – who had 42 receptions for 568 yards and five scores for Kansas City in 2021 – will not return. He signed a free-agent deal with the Chicago Bears in March.
Stacking the Wide Receiver Room
With the second-round pick the Chiefs got for Hill, they grabbed Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore. Following the draft, Kansas City signed undrafted Clemson wideout Justyn Ross, who has already opened some eyes in optional team workouts this week. Once mentioned in discussions as a high draft pick, Ross went undrafted due to health concerns. He missed time while at Clemson because of a congenital spine condition.
In free agency, Kansas City signed longtime Pittsburgh Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year deal and former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year contract. Both are veterans who give Mahomes even more legitimate options.
“It’s a very deep receiving room. It’s hard to tell which guys are going to make it because we’ve got so many good receivers,” Mahomes said. “That’s what you want. You want that competition. You want guys competing every single day to make the roster because they’re going to help us in the end.”
As most quarterbacks do nowadays, Mahomes invited the receiving group to his home state of Texas this offseason for workouts and throwing sessions, along with general bonding and team-building.
“I think we got some chemistry in – working out with them, throwing with them,” Mahomes said. “We’d go to lunch, we’d go to dinner, stuff like that. You kind of build chemistry.
“I think it’s translated. So far in the practices, we’ve had we feel like we’re on the same page, and we’re going to keep building on that.”
After winning the Super Bowl in 2019 and losing it in 2020, Kansas City lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 AFC Championship Game. You can tell already that the Chiefs are hungry to get back to the big game in 2022.