For the Kansas City Chiefs, arguably, no position has been under more scrutiny this offseason than the wide receiver room. Endless debates have surfaced about if the team’s young talent will step up and which — if any — new faces the team should bring in to round out the group.
Following Thursday’s media look at practice, new wide receivers coach Connor Embree discussed what he has seen from some of Kansas City’s younger options.
The former Kansas Jayhawk running back — and alum of Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park — praised the efforts of all 12 wide receivers currently rostered.
“The whole group is doing great,” he observed. “I like all 12 of them. They’ve all been in and working. I have zero complaints.”
Second-round selection Rashee Rice has stood out for the unique traits he brings to the team.
“He’s got some juice to him,” Embree said of the SMU product. “He’s a bigger body guy that we don’t really have in our room. So he’s a little different in that way. He’s been great: great in the classroom and great on the field.”
Much of Kansas City’s hope for the coming season rides on the improvement of another former second-round pick. Embree has seen very encouraging signs as Skyy Moore enters his sophomore campaign.
“Skyy’s been great,” the coach declared. “Skyy — you know we put a lot on him last year. Usually, when we get a receiver, we try to keep them at one position. It’s easier to learn that way. But we threw a lot at him last year. He played every position — all three of them: X, Zebra and Z.
“He’s been great. He came back in great shape. He looks stronger, [and] he’s a little bigger. He’s just got that year under his belt. He’s not that little puppy dog anymore. He understands what’s going on, understands the tempo we practice at, and just how to be a pro. He’s been great.”
However, a player of interest to many Chiefs fans was not drafted at all. Former Clemson wideout Justyn Ross signed with Kansas City as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft. At one time among college football’s best players, injuries limited him to only 10 college games played since the 2019 national title game. Ross missed his rookie season due to a foot injury.
Though he has never been through even a padded practice as a Chief, his position coach praised the work Ross has been able to put in since joining the team.
“Justyn is another one — he worked hard last year,” Embree recalled. “He was in every meeting [and] in all the stuff that everyone else was at. He kind of got a year under his belt also — just without the playing aspect of it.
“He’s been great, and I’m excited for him — to see him out on the field and see what he can do. He’s another kind of different body; we don’t have someone like him. So he’s good.”
Embree declined to set expectations for the one-time star, reiterating that Ross will be held to the same standard as everyone else.
“I think it’s just like everyone else in the room: it’s whatever you want it to be,” he declared of Ross’ chances for the roster. “It’s up to them. We give them tools. We teach everyone the same way. Everyone’s in the same meetings. It’s really up to him. He’s got the talent — he’s obviously in the NFL for a reason.
“It’s just like anyone else in the room: they’ve got to go earn it.”