Expectations are mixed for Hollywood Brown's production in 2024 for the Chiefs

Can Brown produce on the levels of a WR1 in 2024? Expectations are mixed.
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs revamped a good portion of their wide receiver room entering the 2024 season. Marquise "Hollywood" Brown was added in free agency, and in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Kansas City selected Xavier Worthy out of the University of Texas. With just those two moves alone, the Chiefs incorporated more speed into their offense, compared to what was in place the prior season.

Brown was the exact type of weapon that the Chiefs needed to add this offseason. He not only offers quickness, but he also brings plenty of experience. His history of working with multiple quarterback styles offers additional intrigue. Brown can possibly become a leader for the rest of the Chiefs' wide receivers, with those factors in mind. And in turn, Kansas City is hoping that any possible leadership carries over to his production in 2024.

Can Brown produce on the levels of a WR1 in 2024? Expectations are mixed. For one, Kansas City has operated distinctly as a passing offense in the Patrick Mahomes era. The career results for Brown have been up and down at times, as well. Let's look at the factors in play.

The Chiefs' democratic offense

One thing that the Chiefs have consistently done with Mahomes is to share the wealth. Some players will still get more chances in crucial situations than others, but largely, the full cast of skill position players will get their opportunities in the passing game. For instance, nine players received at least 30 targets in the passing game last year, according to Pro Football Reference. Five of those nine players were Chiefs wide receivers. A pair of tight ends and a pair of running backs also eclipsed that threshold in 2023.

Hollywood's financial hopes

The Chiefs also move their wide receivers around the offensive formation a fair amount. As a result, multiple wide receivers may take snaps from both the slot and on the outside. With that in mind, Brown could easily see his snaps split between inside and outside alignment at a decent clip. Having additional speed in the fold will certainly help.

Starting with Brown himself, the pass catcher can open up so much more for others within the offense. The deep ball is something Kansas City is looking to incorporate more into the offense in 2024, as Mahomes mentioned recently on The Pat McAfee Show. During OTAs, the Chiefs posted a deep ball connection between Mahomes and Brown. There are more moments to point toward of the new wide receiver excelling in that area.

Producing like a WR1 may come with some added motivation for Brown in 2024. For starters, he only signed a one-year deal in free agency this offseason. And compared to other free agent wide receiver deals from this spring, Brown signed for a pretty cheap value. His cap hit is just $8.205 million, via Spotrac.

In this day and age, the contract extensions at the wide receiver position are rapidly increasing in value per season. Look no further than the record-breaking contract extension signed by Justin Jefferson. Others like Jaylen Waddle, Nico Collins, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Michael Pittman Jr. have all inked substantive raises with new contract extensions this offseason. That could lead to Brown wanting to prove himself even further in 2024. The hope would then likely be to cash in considerably more next offseason.

Chemistry with Mahomes?

A major point of emphasis when playing with Mahomes in this offense, is building trust. Will Brown become the most trustworthy wide receiver target for Mahomes in 2024? Even with solid expectations for rookie Xavier Worthy, it is rare for rookies to lead the wide receiver room and gain that early trust. We also are awaiting a possible decision on Rashee Rice following some off-field incidents this offseason. You also add in the veteran experience of Brown, and he will be able to make adjustments quickly when pairing with Mahomes in this offense.

Last season, items like body positioning during routes and a lack of spacing led to disruption for the KC passing attack. Mahomes also hesitated to target certain pass catchers after multiple mistakes were made. With Brown, you have to think that a more concrete rapport can be built between him and Mahomes. Videos have been posted on social media of that chemistry being built throughout their offseason workouts together. Considering the different styles of quarterback that Brown has played with in the NFL, this wide receiver has been able to produce and create in various ways.

Brown's inconsistent numbers

The career production of Brown to this point has looked and felt like a WR1 at times. From a consistency perspective, though, the production hasn't played out that way year to year.

Brown has only one season where he had over 110 targets. He has also only topped 1,000 receiving yards in a single campaign. Notably, his career average for catch percentage is 59.6 percent. A history of drops has hurt at times, as Pro Football Reference lists him with 23 in his career through five years. While drops are not the only factor leading to a modest career catch percentage, Brown will look to improve on those numbers.

Improving on those numbers and his results in production may all depend on his usage in the Chiefs' offensive scheme. Is Kansas City the most desirable offense for someone like Brown to thrive in? That is a major piece to consider as he enters a new team.

Baltimore was a place where Brown did not feel like he was necessarily utilized to his strengths. After being traded to Arizona, he referenced a desire to join a new system. And with the Cardinals, there were flashes of him getting used effectively down the field. But even with Arizona, I came away believing that too much of his time there was spent as someone who had to create far too much after the catch. That especially felt true, after the QB dumped it down short. While he can win athletically with the ball in his hands, that sometimes became predictable for opposing defenses that were facing him.

A successful 2024 campaign for Brown will not be solely centered around his production. But when it comes to overall expectations within this offense and with his career results, it is not necessarily clear. He does not have to lead the league in every statistical category. However, more stability would do wonders for both Brown and the Chiefs.