Will the Chiefs' wide receiver decisions come back to haunt them?

Will the Chiefs' lack of investment at wide receiver this offseason become a serious hurdle?

May 26, 2022; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) runs drills
May 26, 2022; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) runs drills / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most controversial areas on the Kansas City Chiefs roster is the wide receiver position. Despite possessing raw talent and potential, the group lacks a true established number-one wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

Kadarius Toney has yet to complete a full season as a reliable player and is currently recovering from knee surgery. Skyy Moore had a very underwhelming rookie season, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling is solid but best suited as a reliable #3 or low-end #2 receiver. Rashee Rice and Nikko Remigio are rookies, and Richie James and Justin Watson have never topped 600 receiving yards in their five-year careers.

In reality, Travis Kelce is the primary target in the Kansas City offense, so the Chiefs aren't entirely lacking in weapons. However, it's arguable that the overall wide receiver group is underwhelming for a Super Bowl contender heavily reliant on its passing game.

Admittedly, general manager Brett Veach has made efforts to improve the wide receiver group since trading Tyreek Hill in March 2022. He signed former 1,400-yard receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (now with the New England Patriots) to a one-year deal last season and used two Top 60 draft picks on wide receivers in the previous two drafts. Additionally, he brought in Valdes-Scantling on a multi-year deal last year, and the investment paid dividends during the successful run to Super Bowl LVII. There were also reported talks with Odell Beckham Jr. and Deandre Hopkins before they signed elsewhere.

However, despite these efforts, there are still legitimate questions surrounding the wide receiver room this year. Over the past two years, the Chiefs haven't acquired a player even in the same stratosphere as Tyreek Hill. While they may not necessarily need a player of Hill's caliber to win, as last year definitely proved, the lack of a significant investment in the position may come back to haunt them. What's the plan if Travis Kelce has to miss a significant amount of time?

Which young wide receiver on the Kansas City Chiefs is most likely to break out this season?

Brett Veach is undoubtedly a brilliant football mind, and Andy Reid's influence in player selection cannot be overlooked, so the latter could very well be content with the current group. Nonetheless, relying on young and unproven receivers in Reid's complex offense is a risk.

While it's possible that some of the young players like Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Justyn Ross, and Rashee Rice have breakout seasons, the fact remains that none of them are established veterans yet, and each may have some flaws to overcome.

In the end, this article may age poorly if one of these young receivers steps up and becomes a 1,000-yard player. However, there are numerous question marks on the wide receiver depth chart. Will Kadarius Toney and Justyn Ross stay healthy for an entire season? Can Skyy Moore take the next step, and will Rashee Rice defy the trend of young receivers not playing significant offensive roles in their first year?

It's important to never doubt Brett Veach and Andy Reid, who have built a team that won two Super Bowls, been to three, and hosted five straight AFC Championships. They know how to construct a strong football team. Nevertheless, relying heavily on young and untested receivers is a gamble. The wide receiver position could end up being one of the best and deepest units on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, or it could become a serious liability and derail a deep playoff run.

As long as Patrick Mahomes is leading the Chiefs, they will remain competitive. However, a weak wide receiver corps next to Kelce could make it significantly more challenging to compete against teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, and Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2023-24 playoffs. The team is playing with fire, and while they may stay warm for the entire winter, they also run the risk of getting burned.