The Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason program has been underway for a couple of months now, and it will conclude with a three-day mandatory minicamp beginning on Tuesday.
Once Thursday comes and goes, there won’t be much news for a period. With that in mind, every once in a while, we’ll pose a question here at Arrowhead Pride to get the wheels turning ahead of the 2023 season.
Which wide receiver leads the Chiefs in 2023 receiving yards?
My answer: Skyy Moore
Two facts make this one fun: A) The obvious is that Travis Kelce is a tight end, designating him ineligible as the answer. Kelce has led the Chiefs in receiving yards five times in his 10-year career — and three of the last four years. So he’s out of the mix. And B) last year’s leading receiver now plays for the New England Patriots.
In my opinion, there are only three legitimate options for this answer: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who only trailed JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2022 (687), Kadarius Toney, who came to Kansas City in the middle of the season and then battled injuries (171), or Skyy Moore, who did what he could with his opportunities (250) but only saw 27% of offensive snaps in 2022.
No, I’m not considering DeAndre Hopkins or either of the Rosses (getting ahead of the comments, here). Rookies (Rashee Rice) typically need a year to bake in Andy Reid’s system — and Richie James and Justin Watson project as role players in 2023 more so than alphas.
I’ll admit, Valdes-Scantling is the safest answer, as he played the most with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (777 regular-season snaps) of my options mentioned. He also led all receivers with 122 yards in three playoff games, and he had two critical playoff touchdowns. He lined up on both the outside and in the slot, and there seems to be a true rapport between the receiver and quarterback. Still, I think he does most of his yardage damage on deep passes downfield, something opposing defenses have been better at limiting against Mahomes.
I’m optimistic about Toney’s outlook for 2023, but I need to see a season of 14 games played or more before he is my pick.
Give me the 22-year-old Moore, who I believe will get those Mecole Hardman-style pop passes (receiving yards) and find instant windows thanks to his elite release off the line of scrimmage. He will be a weapon in the slot for Mahomes as Kelce and Toney (when he’s available) get extra attention and Valdes-Scantling stretches the field. Using a quick calculation, if Moore played 100% of offensive snaps based on his 250 yards on 27% of snaps, that’s 926 receiving yards.
Moore won’t be on the field for every snap, but his percentage will be no doubt increasing, and that should create better opportunities for the second-year player out of Western Michigan.
Your turn. Weigh in below.