KC Chiefs: Three positions to address in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Jacob Milham
Veach addressed the lack of wide receiver options ahead of the 2022 season but faces the same problem after the season. Some of the Chiefs’ top receivers are hitting free agency, leaving unproven options under contract in 2023.
Juju Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, and Justin Watson are the top three receiving options hitt free agency, and all contributed heavily in the 2022 season. Smith-Schuster is the biggest question mark, as there is some reported mutual interest about him staying in Kansas City. A Super Bowl can really change things, can’t it? The concern is what price and for how long. Smith-Schuster did play in 16 games this past season, but most of them he was not 100% healthy. His 933 receiving yards and three touchdowns still make him the biggest wide receiver prize in free agency.
Hardman’s time is likely over in Kansas City, as his production is replaceable in 2023. Injuries limited him to eight games in 2022, but his six total touchdowns in those games tantalized fans. Hardman was the expected successor to Tyreek Hill’s role, one that he never really lived up to. But sometimes players just need a fresh start and something to prove. He has a real shot to latch on in another offensive attack and be a feature wideout.
The Chiefs did invest recent draft capital into acquiring Kadarius Toney and drafting Skyy Moore last year. Those two should not deter Veach from drafting another wide receiver later in the draft, though. The free agent wide receiver market is booming as of late, making rookie deals an even bigger bargain.
Plus, rookie wide receivers are not going to be instant hits in a Kansas City offense. Moore had some high expectations for 2022 but never reached them due to a slow start. Reid brought the rookie along slowly in the passing game, but Moore’s season ended with his first NFL touchdown in the Super Bowl. If the Chiefs love a wide receiver prospect or one falls to them, investing in more weapons for quarterback Patrick Mahomes is never a bad idea.