Which Kansas City Chiefs players passed the preseason hype test vs. Saints?

Aug 13, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Nephi Sewell (45) blocks
Aug 13, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Nephi Sewell (45) blocks / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

The 2023 Kansas City Chiefs played their first game against another team on Sunday. It was great to finally watch a Chiefs game again, even if it was preseason and the Chiefs lost to the New Orleans Saints by a final score of 26-24. At the end of the day, there are a few big-picture takeaways from the game, but preseason is mostly about individual player evaluations. The Chiefs have had several players get a lot of buzz in training camp and now we finally got to see if their play in a game lived up to the hype.

While there are a lot of players that deserve recognition (good or bad) for their play versus the Saints, I'm going to focus on the five players that I feel were talked about most during the first three weeks of training camp. Those five players are all on offense and four of them are at the wide receiver position. I'm talking about Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, Justyn Ross, Richie James, and Deneric Prince.

I'm not saying those were the only five players receiving lots of fan and media hype, but it certainly feels like those five have been talked about the most. It makes sense that there would be lots of receivers on the list. Playing time and roster spots are up for grabs at the position and all four of the players I listed have been making plays during camp. At running back, Isiah Pacheco hasn't been practicing at full contact and they've been trying to limit Jerick McKinnon's reps, so undrafted rookie Deneric Prince has had a chance to get a lot of work and make a name for himself.

So how did these five do? Well let's start by looking at the player that saw the least action on Sunday.

Skyy Moore, wide receiver

As of press time, I don't have the snap counts for the game available, but I feel confident in saying that Skyy Moore played, by far, the least amount of snaps of the five "hyped" players in this piece. He didn't have any receptions and I don't believe he was targeted at all. So it's safe to say that Skyy Moore didn't pass the hype test, right? Well, not so fast.

In addition to Moore making some nice plays in camp, the real buzz around him has been that he has been ahead of the other "hyped" receivers and seems to be a clear starter at this point. The fact that Moore came out of the game at the same time as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling is actually a major development for him.

The number one thing going against Moore last season was that he wasn't up to full speed with the offense/playbook. If Andy Reid still felt that way about Moore you would assume he would have kept playing when the next wave of players came in to help him get more reps and build his familiarity with the system. The fact that the Chiefs didn't feel that was necessary and went right on to guys like Ross, Rice, and James is a good sign that his starter reps in camp aren't just a seniority thing.

So while this is kind of passing by default...

Verdict: Passed The Hype Test

Now let's talk about a wideout that received a lot more playing time.