On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus writer Doug Kyed published an article identifying seven NFL wide receivers who could benefit from all the big-time deals made for wideouts during 2022’s offseason. In a bit of a departure from the normal routine for the football analytics site, the article wasn’t based largely on PFF data. Instead, it was based on reports from league sources — and named a new Kansas City Chiefs wideout.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs
The former Green Bay Packers receiver took his time in free agency and landed in an optimal spot with the Chiefs after Tyreek Hill was traded to Miami. Valdes-Scantling traveled to Texas to spend some time with new quarterback Patrick Mahomes before OTAs and minicamp, and it appeared to have paid off. The Athletic’s Nate Taylor dubbed him the Chiefs’ “best receiver” in their offseason workout program.
Kansas City is excited by what it saw from Valdes-Scantling this offseason, per one source. MVS started 39 games over four seasons with the Packers but has a chance to be Mahomes’ top wide receiver in 2022.
Along with Valdes-Scantling, Kyed’s group included the Buffalo Bills’ Gabirel Davis, the Baltimore Ravens’ Rashod Bateman, the Miami Dolphins’ Cedrick Wilson, the Chicago Bears’ Darnell Mooney, the Arizona Cardinals’ Rondale Moore and former Chiefs wideout Sammy Watkins, who is now with the Packers.
We have been overloaded with speculation about which wide receiver will climb to the top of Kansas City’s depth chart in 2022 — and the truth is that no one (possibly even including the Chiefs themselves) knows exactly how it’s going to play out. But Kyed has it right: there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the former Packers wide receiver may have the inside track.
Perhaps even more interesting is the presence of Watkins on this list. Throughout his career, few have questioned his ability. But he hasn’t been available for a full season of games since his rookie season with the Bills in 2014. Kyed quoted trainer Bert Whigham, who has been working with Watkins in Orlando.
“Sammy’s going to kill it,” said Whigham. “I have no doubt. He hasn’t trained like this since college. He’ll say that. ‘I haven’t worked like this since college.’ We’re spending two-and-a-half, three hours on the field in this heat every day. And that sounds crazy, but that’s what your body has to go through so when you get to camp, it’s easy. And that’s been the knock on him. He gets hurt. Well, he hasn’t pushed his body in the offseason, and he’ll admit that.”
One thing is for sure: it will be quite a story if the blockbuster trades that sent Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders — and Hill to the Dolphins — will end up creating breakout seasons for two players who labored in their shadows.
Which Kansas City receiver will be Patrick Mahomes’ No. 1 target in 2022?
This poll is closed
No one will emerge as the clear No. 1