If the Chiefs decide to roster six wide receivers in 2022, which wideouts might be on the outside looking in when camp wraps up?
One of the unlikeliest of roster crunches for the Chiefs to start the season seems to be in the wide receiver room. After an offseason of transformation that saw three of last year’s four top wideouts leave the team’s roster either through free agency or trade, it seemed as if Kansas City would struggle to fill the wide receiver corps with enough talent.
Now, instead, the team has built a deep unit from top to bottom. The hardest part of projecting the talent might just be deciding which receivers will finish the preseason on the outside looking in. Which wideouts have the best chance to make the team’s roster this season?
A Somewhat Forgotten Returning Chiefs WR Could Shine In 2022
Mecole Hardman enters his fourth season as an NFL receiver for the Chiefs. When Kansas City decided to draft the speedy receiver, it was with the intention of filling a role held by now ex-Chiefs wideout, Tyreek Hill. For those unfamiliar at the time, Tyreek was involved in some legal trouble and it appeared he would potentially miss some of the upcoming 2019 season. Eventually, everything worked itself out with star receiver, Hill, and Hardman filled a much lesser role. Fast forward to the present, with Hill now a member of the Miami Dolphins, Hardman can officially take over the role he was initially drafted for.
So far, in camp, he has impressed coaches and fans. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid has used Mecole in many different ways, one being at the head of a wildcat formation. Look for Mecole to be a key part of the Chiefs’ future!
Mecole Hardman wildcat with Mahomes outside pic.twitter.com/doxcH02jO5 — KC Sports Network (@KCSportsNetwork) August 2, 2022
Offseason Additions For Chiefs Make Up Most Of The WR Room
This offseason, the Chiefs signed veteran receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year, $10.75 million deal. Since the signing, he has started to establish himself as the leader of the group. With his stature and ability to work inside the hash, Smith-Schuster instantly established himself as one of QB Patrick Mahomes’ top weapons. “Juju”, who was a 1400-yard and seven touchdown wideout with the Steelers, looks to revamp his career here in KC.
JuJu Smith-Schuster gets my vote:pic.twitter.com/QXMZzN8g1h — Moody (@EricNMoody) August 1, 2022
Ex-Packers receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, signed this offseason with the Chiefs on a 3-year, $36 million deal. “MVS” was heavily used in the deep game by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. With his size and speed, he comes in as a great deep threat for the Chiefs. Although Valdes-Scantling has struggled with some issues as training camp has gone on. He will have to clean that up to earn the trust of his QB and Coach. He has also shown some great flashes already and could be huge in opening up the field for the Chiefs comes September.
📹VIDEO: Good sequence for #Chiefs Marquez Valdes-Scantling during Friday's redzone work. @KSHB41 pic.twitter.com/qtbOrDsnQ7 — Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) July 29, 2022
The Chiefs selected Skye Moore with the 54th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Moore has had an amazing start to camp! The first-year receiver has excelled in many different areas such as crossing patterns, out routes, the deep ball, and even out of the backfield. Coach Reid showed us in training camp that he’s going to take advantage of Moore in a number of different ways this season. Look for Skyy to be Andy Reid’s version of Deebo Samuel!
Mahomes to Skyy Moore pic.twitter.com/EjBIdlahEh — KC Sports Network (@KCSportsNetwork) August 4, 2022
With The Top Four Chiefs’ WR Spots Locked-In, Who’s Left?
The last two receiver spots on the opening day roster seem to be a battle between four guys: Josh Gordon, Cornell Powell, Daurice Fountain, and Justin Watson. Something to keep an eye on during preseason games will be how the Chiefs use these four players on offense and special teams. Chiefs Special Teams coach Dave Toub mentioned how they will rely on Fountain to play an important role in Special Teams.
Toub says Noah Gray and Daurice Fountain are gonna be relied on to be key special teams contributors.#Chiefs — PJ Green (@PJGreenTV) August 2, 2022
Fourth-year receiver Justin Watson has been impressing many in Training Camp as well. After taking the 2021 season off due to injury, Watson appears to be in great shape. He has formed nice chemistry in camp with Mahomes and looks to be in a prime spot to win a roster spot.
Cornell Powell hasn’t had a bad start to camp by any means, however, he hasn’t done anything to stand out. The second-year receiver did take some reps with the first team on Thursday but other than that he has been very quiet. Josh Gordon has struggled early at camp with drops and finding a rhythm. Though many NFL fans love the comeback story, it appears Josh Gordon is the odd man out.
Josh Gordon got good separation in a one on one but dropped the open pass. That’s been common for him throughout camp.#chiefs — PJ Green (@PJGreenTV) August 2, 2022
The Chiefs have retained six receivers for the active roster over the past few seasons. With Hardman, Smith-Schuster, Valdes-Scantling, and Moore locked in, the battle for the last two spots is underway. It appears that those two spots are Fountain and Watson’s to lose, however the NFL is a business and you never know till it is final. Something to keep an eye on in preseason!
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