Mecole Hardman is gone, and Toney is down too. Those two brought speed to Kansas City's offense in 2022. What will 2023 look like? Well, if Andy Reid loves his speedsters, veteran John Ross now has a chance to prove himself.
Ross is usually the forgotten J. Ross in Kansas City. He fits the Brett Veach mold as a former top pick who just did not pan out, but might have some value for the Chiefs. He did not play in 2022, after spending a single season with the New York Giants. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Ross ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, one pick ahead of Patrick Mahomes. I remember in Madden 18, my first franchise move was trading for Ross and pairing him with Tyreek Hill and Mahomes, If only real football was as simple as that.
Like Toney, Ross's primary concern was health. It was an issue throughout his Bengals tenure and did not get better with the Giants. At 28 years old, fans should not expect it to get better. But, Reid at least had a good first impression of the speedster this season.
"Ross is extremely fast and quick," Reid said. "Before he got hurt, he was on to a pretty good season. I like what I see there, too.”
Ross does not provide the same versatility as Watson, but he still brings the speed missing in the Chiefs' offense right now. His real question comes in special teams. With Toney out of the return picture, the Chiefs could look to Ross as an option. Ross will need to show he is competent in the return game, as he is fairly unproven in that facet. He only has one kick return in his career, with no punt returns.
Ross is still far from a roster lock, but now he has a clear pathway to making the roster. He needs to excel in any special teams role given, but also prove his value on offense. It is improbable, but Ross has a better chance with Toney on the sidelines.