Chiefs WR What if…?

What if the Chiefs have AT LEAST 1 "alpha" WR: 80+ catches, 1,000+ yards, 8+ TDs? There seems to be as many as 9 players with NFL-level talent. Only 1 needs to step up to show that Veach & Co. were absolutely right to leave DHop and OBJ to others because they ALREADY had their WR1 even if the pundits (and some fans) don’t believe it. After Kelce, who could be "the guy" this year for KC? Let’s take a look at it in terms of pure talent:

1. Front-runner Kadarius Toney: Toney has 1st round talent no doubt. He was electric with the ball in his hands last year. He nearly broke his own ankles on his Super Bowl punt return. Yes, there’re health concerns. What if Burkholder & Co. work their magic, and those are gone? What if he’s healthy and stays healthy and plays 17 games? And Patrick Mahomes is throwing him the ball? And Andy is scheming him open? 80-1,000-8 might be the floor for this guy.

2. Hype-monster Justyn Ross: His freshman year at Clemson, Justyn Ross was the WR1 on a national championship team over Tee Higgins. Yes, he also has health issues. No, he hasn’t faced NFL competition though Nick Saban-coached Alabama DBs playing for a national title are about as close as it gets in the college ranks. Andy Reid spoke about him the other day, and there were 3 key words: "PAT. TRUSTS. HIM." That’s all I need to know, Big Red. If Pat trusts him, he’s healthy, he’s better than Tee Higgins, he’s bigger, faster, and stronger than he was at 18/19 years old, then he’s a true #1 X receiver. 80-1,000-8 in 17 games? Easy-peasy.

3. Rookie Round 2 Target Rashee Rice: Before going into the war room on Day 2 of the draft, Brett Veach was overheard saying, "The plan today: Get the WR from SMU." That WR went for 1400 yards last year with a no-name QB and every defense knowing the ball was coming his way. Double teamed. Triple teamed. Rolled safeties. Jammed at the line. None of it mattered. The guy blew up everyone. He was 40% of the Mustangs’ passing offense. 40%! 40% of 5,250 yards is 2,100. 40% of 41 TDs is roughly 16. There is the storyline that rookies don’t produce in Andy’s system. Maybe. Maybe not. DeSean Jackson did all right as a rookie in Philly. What if that’s a myth? Other WRs taken on Day 2: DK Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin, AJ Brown, Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams. That would be a pretty ridiculous fantasy roster. Could Rashee Rice be the next great day-2 WR? Maybe. If he is, could he be 20% of the Chiefs’ offense? If he does, he’ll have 80-1,000-8. Yep.

4. Sophomore Breakout Candidate Skyy Moore: RBs break out as rookies. TEs break out in year 3. WRs break out year 2. Moore may not have an elite trait, but he has average or better traits across the board. You know who that reminds me of? Cooper Kupp. No, I’m not saying he is Cooper Kupp. I’m saying, "Why can’t he be?" He’s got a better QB. He’s got a play-caller who creates YAC. He knows how to get open. He catches everything. He knows how to make things happen with the ball in his hands. He showed flashes in the 2nd Chargers game: 5 catches on 6 targets for 63 yards. Those numbers times 17 games: 85-1,071. Do you think he’s not going to be any better this year? What’s he done all off-season if not get better? Could he get to 80-1000-8? Given the opportunity, he could.

5. Big-money veteran Marquez Valdes-Scantling: MVS got a 3-year $33M contract last year. Typical Veach overpay, right? MVS underperformed all season: 42-687-2. Eh. Nothing special. 3 catches per game. Meh. Then the AFC Championship Game happened. Justin Watson was inactive. Kadarius went out. Juju went out. Mecole went out. MVS stepped up: 6-116-1. Multiply that by 17, and you get 102-1,972-17. Am I saying those are going to be his numbers next year? No way. But is it an indication he can hit 80-1000-8? Abso-friggin’-lutely. He’s got an extra year in the system. He’s got the speed. He’s got Pat and Andy. What if the AFCCG was not a fluke or a one-off but his coming out party? That $33M will make Veach look like a genius… again.

6. Late Bloomer 2022 NYG WR1 Richie James: At 5’9" and 185lbs, he’s not an X. He’s not a true #1. Only 95 career receptions, 1,258 rec yards, 7 TDs in 14 starts across 4 seasons. He’s a slower Mecole Hardman gadget guy/return specialist, isn’t he? Well, he was, but then there was last year with the Giants. His QB rating when targeted last year by Daniel Jones? 119.6. Daniel Jones career rating? 86.5. 33 points lower than when he targeted Richie James. 33 points! Daniel Jones had his best year as a QB ever and got paid. Mahomes career rating? 105.7. Imagine if Mahomes rating jumps 33 points when targeting Richie James this year? Now imagine it only goes up only half that much. He will have the greatest year by a QB ever. Ever. Let that sink in… EVER. Better than Aaron Rodgers historic 2011 season. James had a 7.2 aDoT last year with Danny Dimes throwing him the ball. Juju had 7.3 with Mahomes. He also had first downs on 29 of 57 receptions. In 4 seasons Richie James has evolved from a return specialist into a chain-moving possession receiver. He was 18% of the Giants passing offense last year while only starting 4 games. Juju was 18% of Chiefs passing offense while starting 14 games. 57 receptions last year would’ve been 2nd among Chiefs WRs behind only Juju. His 569 yards would’ve been 3rd behind Juju and MVS. This guy is at the peak of his career, and he now has the best QB in football throwing to him. If he can gain Mahomes’ trust and get on the field, he could be looking at a Juju contract next year. 80-1000-8? It’s on the table.

7. 1st-round reclamation project John Ross: The fastest 40 time in NFL combine history? 4.22 by WR John Ross. Sorry Tyreek, but that’s Cheetah-speed. Mahomes was the #10 pick in 2017. John Ross was #9. Yes, even though they now have Burrow, the Bungles might like to have that pick back, but there’s no doubt "little Ross" has talent. John’s senior year at Washington, his stat line was 81-1,150-17. He hasn’t been able to duplicate it at the pro level in part due to injuries, and Cincinnati let him go. Can John do it in KC? I don’t think so, buuut… he’s got Mahomes and Andy in his corner. Kelce’s grandpa can get open in this offense, or so I’m told. And I doubt grandpa has 4.22 speed. With the injury history of some of these other guys, if John can stay healthy for the whole season, he can be the WR1 by default. And if that happens, 80-1000-8 is achievable.

8. Trusted veteran Justin Watson: Watson has superior physical tools to Juju: 1" taller, 0.1 faster 40, 5 more bench reps, 4" longer broad jump. He even has 1 more ring. But Juju has 10x as many receptions, 9x more yards, and 7x as many TDs for his career. I don’t think Justin Watson will become Juju this offseason. I don’t. I’m not even sure he makes the roster, but Veach gave him a 2-year contract with some guaranteed money, Pat likes him, and what if? What if Watson can remain healthy all season and single-handedly replace Juju? Are you sure 80-1000-8 is out of the question? I’m not. I think Mahomes can make any pass-catcher a star, even…

9. UDFA out of Fresno State Nikko Remigio: He’s small. He’s light. He’s more crazy quick than crazy fast. And he’s always open. ALWAYS. I watched his college tape, and said "This is the West Coast Tank Dell." Tank Dell was draft 69th overall by Houston. Tank Dell is probably WR4 or 5 for the Texans, and maybe WR3. Nikko is our WR9 right now. Nikko is slippery. He has good hands. He’s Wes Welker. Julian Edelman. Cole Beasley. Can that type of player put up 80-1000-8 with Mahomes? Absolutely. Will it be Nikko this year? Probably not. He probably needs to wait a year just to make the roster in KC, but he’s got the tools to be a force in the NFL. Now I know Fresno State has never produced an NFL WR unless you count some guy named Davante. I mean hey, Texas Tech had never produced an NFL QB before some kid named Patrick. Rutgers never had a 1000-yard NFL rusher (counting the playoffs) before a certain Isaih. Who knows? Maybe this is the one. Stranger things have already happened with Andy Reid in KC.

Well, that was a walk through the alternate universes of the Chiefs WR room. Wild, huh? Last year after trading Tyreek, the Chiefs showed they could win it all without a true #1 wideout. Mahomes threw for over 5,000 yards and 40 TDs and brought home his 2nd MVP. 2023 is a new year. Juju is gone. Mecole is gone. The Chiefs have a new cast of wideouts. Mostly young. Mostly unproven. Many with unenviable injury histories. But does anyone REALLY doubt they can do it again? And what if…?

I’ve laid out 9 scenarios. What if even one of these guys takes off? Would it really be that surprising? Not to me. On the contrary, after watching Marcus Kemp catch passes in the AFC Championship Game, it’s hard for me to imagine how the wheels fall off the Reid-Mahomes-Kelce bus… or should I say freight train? Could Mahomes go for 6,000 yards and 60 TDs this year? I doubt it, but who saw 5,000 and 50 coming in his 1st year starting? Who saw 5,000 and 40 last year WITHOUT Tyreek?

All it takes is one guy, one guy out of 9. One guy steps up, and this offense becomes a juggernaut giving DCs nightmares. And what if 2 step up? Or 3? Then Mahomes does go for 6,000 and 60, or maybe 5,500 and 55. And Chiefs have the scariest, most explosive offense in NFL history. MVP. Lombardi. Historically they could make the 2017 Patriots look like a B-level team. They could make the "Greatest Show on Turf" seem like rookie mini-camp. What if…?

What do you think Chiefs fans? Am I completely off my rocker? If I have spoken wrong, please show me my wrong, but if I speak the truth… give me some props, ok?

Most of the info on Richie James came from that YouTube stud The Scrambling Armchair.

The stats comparing Justin Watson and Juju came from their Wikipedia pages.

The inspiration for this fanpost came from the Marvel "What if…?" series… and the crazy collection of football players Brett Veach and the front office have assembled.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.