Gone is JuJu Smith-Schuster, who led the Chiefs in receiving in 2022, and Mecole Hardman, a key member of the corps the past four seasons. Instead of dipping heavily into free agency for answers at the position, K.C. is counting on growth from Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore to fill more significant roles in 2023.
"I think it's important that they continue to grow -- both of them," coach Andy Reid said Monday at the opening of the offseason program. "You know, KT (Kadarius Toney), he's not like a seasoned veteran in the league. He's still relatively young guy and young in this offense so growth will be important, how they handle this offseason (and) how they handle training camp and that whole workload that comes with it. But I'm expecting good things from them, for sure. They're wired the right way and they've just got to keep improving and develop that relationship with (Patrick Mahomes)."
Toney offers an enticing skill set that could dominate in Reid's offense but, in two seasons, has yet to stay healthy. He played 10 games as a rookie in 2021, generating 39 catches for 420 yards. Last season, he played in nine games -- seven with the Chiefs -- netting 14 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Can he stay healthy and become a steady presence rather than a wideout who makes big plays and then disappears for long stretches?
Moore also struggled with consistency after being taken in the second round of the 2022 draft, netting 22 catches for 250 yards as a rookie. The Chiefs need him to improve leaps and bounds in Year 2 to cover the losses at the position.
With Marquez Valdes-Scantling representing the lone veteran presence, it's a youthful K.C. receiver room with Moore, Toney and Justin Watson all looking at key roles in 2023. The Chiefs added Richie James, a productive role player with the Giants, but didn't make any splash signings in free agency. The group could get even younger with the Chiefs using one of their early draft picks to add another dynamic weapon at receiver in next week's draft.