Finally, Kansas City Chiefs fans can move past the Nuk conversation. DeAndre Hopkins coming to Kansas City felt like a longshot for much of the process, but holding out hope held up other aspects of the offseason process. The Chris Jones extension watch is in full swing, more cap magic from general manager Brett Veach is expected, and training camp cannot get here soon enough. It is that time of the NFL offseason.
But, it is still the offseason nonetheless. Plenty of current Chiefs players have some very lofty expectations, mostly set by the media or fanbase. These aren't always fair, like many expecting Skyy Moore to have a great rookie season under Andy Reid. Remember the Ronald Jones hype train? Yeah, that was fun for a bit. These expectations stick with devout fans for the rest of the season, sometimes overshadowing the individual's performance over the season.
Fans, and writers, need to avoid this trap to ensure a more realistic and clear evaluation of the Chiefs. Therefore, who are some players that are wildly overrated ahead of the 2023 season?
1. S Chamarri Conner
Chamarri Conner lands on the list due to some expectations that come with being a rookie. Leo Chenal was a great option, or remember when Darian Kinnard was going to be the Chiefs' answer at right tackle? Anything is possible for a rookie it seems, until it just isn't. Conner certainly has a high ceiling and could follow a similar route to L'Jarius Sneed. But, he is far from a sure thing and was not an elite prospect in the draft pool this past year.
Conner will likely carve out a nice role on special teams and be used in specific packages or situations. But, he is still behind veterans like Justin Reid and Mike Edwards on the depth chart. He will likely battle with Deon Bush for defensive snaps, depending on how Steve Spagnuolo deploys him. Let's just watch him develop this year, maybe snap 7%-10% of the defensive snaps, and hope for the best.
2. RG Trey Smith
Alright, hear me out on this. Trey Smith became a more well-rounded guard last year in Kansas City. His calling card in 2021 was run-blocking and steamrolling opposing defenders. He was a below-average pass blocker though. Fans know which matters more in the Chiefs' offense, so his improvement in the passing game in 2022 was a very welcome development.
But, I have seen way too many people asking for a Smith extension. What? He is the fifth-best offensive lineman in Kansas City. NFL teams should rarely make a player in the profile a priority extension. Besides. Smith was far from dominant in the passing game. He gave up 41 pressures in 2023, more than Joe Thuney and Creed Humphrey combined. Smith has that dog in him, but Pro Bowl-level play is a lofty expectation for Smith this season.
3. WR Justyn Ross
All it takes are some clips on Instagram for the Chiefs Kingdom to start singing the praises of Justyn Ross. Good Morning Football used offseason workout footage and they declared Ross the Chiefs' breakout wide receiver this season. The man simply doing drills on air reaches hundreds of thousands of viewers. But, and this is important, to be an NFL player, one has to play in an NFL game and that is something Ross has not done yet.
The 23-year-old has the talent, but his body cannot keep up with that. He can show fans what he can do with pads on finally during the upcoming training camp, as he missed last year's iteration. Ross' hype needs to cool down until he can prove that he can contribute like a backup wide receiver can, especially on special teams.
Just enjoy the highlights, if you want. Don't put all these expectations on Ross before he plays a single padded snap.