When the Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, folks immediately began to write them off.
All you heard was hyperbole, that Patrick Mahomes won’t be able to function without the world-class speedster. Head Coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will have to adjust the scheme and playcalling, Mahomes will have to execute on the field without him.
Mahomes’ reaction to the move came a couple of days after the shock sort of wore off. He let everyone know he was kept abreast of the situation by the team.
In an April interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Mahomes had this to say:
“We had to move on and try to get as much as we could for him and try to build that receiving room again. And do it to where we have the ability to go out there and compete every single week, which I trust Brett Veach and Andy Reid will do.”
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) March 23, 2022
It looks as if Veach and Reid heard their star quarterback, as they not only added quality depth to their receiving room; they also added some top-tier talent to their defense as well.
When surveying the roster as currently constructed, it would seem trading Hill has allowed the Chiefs to upgrade their entire team.
Chiefs Attack Free Agency With A Vigor: Offensively And Defensively
Prior to trading Hill, KC added former Steelers wideout: JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was once a Pro Bowler. While he’s struggled a bit the last few years, he still brings 323 career receptions for 3,855 yards and 28 touchdowns. The team also added 6-foot-4 Marquez Valdes-Scantling and his 4.3 speed. His career numbers aren’t too shabby for a third option in Green Bay (123 receptions for 2,153 yards and 13 touchdowns).
Wide receiver Corey Coleman, the No.15 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Baylor, has blazing speed (4.32) and is built similarly to Hill, so he could play a vital role if can ever put it all together.
Running back Ronald Jones brings toughness, durability and a Super Bowl ring to the Chiefs ball-carrier room. His 4.5 yards-per-carry average will be a welcome sight for the running game.
Breaking: JuJu Smith-Schuster announced on social media that he is signing with the Chiefs. pic.twitter.com/amh7xKpNTk
— ESPN (@espn) March 18, 2022
Adding dynamic safety Justin Reid will strengthen the backend of the defense a bit, as the team chose to sign the younger defender over re-signing All-Pro Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu.
Chiefs Used Draft Capital To Address Some Real Needs:
KC took full advantage of its newfound draft capital, attempting to fix their leaky defense and add more wide receiver talent.
In the first round with the pick received from the Miami Dolphins for Hill, the team added Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie, whose NFL comparison is Packers corner Jaire Alexander, who just became the highest-paid defensive back in league history ($84 M).
With their own first-round pick, the team got Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis, who’s likened to another former Boilermakers pass rusher (Ryan Kerrigan), who sits at 97.5 career sacks.
Day 2 of the draft was just as productive as the team landed Western Michigan wideout Skyy Moore, who’s a faster version of Golden Tate. Former Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross is the wildcard, as he wasn’t drafted due to injuries. But if he can recapture what he did as a freshman, the Chiefs may have gotten the biggest steal in the draft.
"I like making people miss."
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 23, 2022
GM Veach wasn’t done fixing a defense that will need to be better with Hill gone. He nabbed safety Brian Cook from Cincinnati and 6-foot-3 corner Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State, who was the first HBCU player drafted in two years. They’ll provide depth, length and ball hawking tendencies in the secondary. Williams is a lot like Cleveland Browns corner Greedy Williams.
The Chiefs may have lost stalwart wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but they may have gotten better with the draft capital accrued and free agency signings. Expect a more diverse offense and an attacking defense able to ballhawk more on the backend and finally thwart long drives.
Future Hall of Famer Travis Kelce still leads the offense weaponry and versatile defensive lineman Chris Jones leads the defense.
Sometimes you have to give up something you love to upgrade to who you need to be. In that regard, football mirrors life and the Chiefs are living proof.