KC Chiefs: Predicting how JuJu Smith-Schuster will produce in 2022
Just how productive will wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster be with the Kansas City Chiefs offense in 2022? He has a major opportunity in front of him.
A massive opportunity awaits JuJu Smith-Schuster in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform. He has taken all the right steps thus far since signing a one-year deal worth up to $10.75 million with incentives in March, and a connection was immediately developed through offseason workouts with Patrick Mahomes and other offensive skill players.
The wide receiver room is full of new faces. What should be expected on the field for the 2022 season? Smith-Schuster gave fans an idea with an eye-raising quote from minicamp earlier this spring.
“I think that with this offense this year we’ve got so many guys who do so many different things, so it’s all-around. We’re not just ‘hey, you go here’ and ‘you go there’. Everyone plays every position. Everyone knows what everyone is doing. That right there helps us out a lot going into the season.”
Smith-Schuster’s last healthy season was in 2020. This should be a barometer for what to anticipate in Kansas City. The former Steeler totaled 97 receptions, 831 yards, and a career-high 9 touchdowns. 2018 statistically displayed peaks in receptions (111) and yardage (1,426). He is certainly capable of being more than just a possession receiver.
Targets will be up for grabs with the departures of Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle, and Demarcus Robinson. That means at least 40% of Patrick Mahomes’s pass attempts from 2021 are currently on another team’s roster. Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman figure to make up a sizable portion of the production. Marquez Valdez-Scantling signed in free agency. Skyy Moore was selected in the 2nd round of the NFL draft. For the newcomers, Smith-Schuster should see his share of opportunities in this offense as long as he stays healthy.
With a revamped, new-look offense that is not focused on one specific wide receiver, we can assume that the ball will be spread around. This means that Smith-Schuster should be productive even if not able to achieve a career-high number of receptions.
2022: 91 receptions, 1,007 yards, 9 touchdowns