Skyy Moore Looks Like Future NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in Chiefs Lineup

Brent SobleskiAugust 6, 2022

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Tyreek Hill may no longer be walking through the door to help the Kansas City Chiefs offense, but Skyy Moore is.

Early returns from training camp are promising for the 54th overall draft pick. So much so, the idea of him emerging as a premium target in the Chiefs' high-flying offense is more plausible with each day. Moore feels like the perfect talent to be considered a preseason favorite for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Interestingly, the Chiefs organization took the opposite approach compared to many other franchises this offseason. While the "Year of the Wide Receiver" (trademark pending) has been rich with market-setting contracts and lavish acquisitions, Kansas City moved its star target.

The team then used some of the draft capital acquired in the Hill trade to select first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie, albeit through a trade-up, while still landing one of the class' most exciting young wide receivers in Moore.

The latter addition is vital to the success of the team.

To be clear, the Chiefs can't outright replace Hill. He's one of the game's fastest players and a dynamic target opposing defenses can't fully handle. He tilted the field in Chiefs' favor and led them last season with 111 receptions, which ranked third overall.

The organization understood changes were coming to the offense.

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General manager Brett Veach explained on the Rich Eisen Show in May (via Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star on MSN.com):

“It would be a little crazy to think that as you mentioned, when you take away one of the most dynamic players over the last decade ... from the offense, some of our play style will certainly look a little different. [...]

"But I think the cool thing about this is you know when you have someone like (quarterback) Pat Mahomes and you have the creativity of an Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy, I think it's exciting. New challenges are always exciting. So will we look exactly the same? No, but we said this many times, there are multiple ways to score points and move the ball down the field.

"So I think the approach this offseason is we're gonna have some core fundamental principles that we always have and we'll look to execute them. But I think it's an exciting new challenge to get this new core of receivers ... and you may see a bit more running but you may see a little bit more short game stuff, but I think it’s exciting. I think the chess game is always exciting."

Hill wasn't the team's only loss. Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson both left in free agency. The duo combined for 67 receptions last season. So Kansas City needed to replace three of its top four wide receivers from 2021. There are now 268 targets missing from last year's offense.

Mecole Hardman is expected to take on a bigger role as the speedster of the group. The Chiefs also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency. Kansas City wasn't pressed to add one in the draft, though Reid liked what he saw of the wide receivers at this year's NFL Scouting Combine.

"I'd like to just put a couple on the plane and take them back," Reid said during an NFL Network appearance (h/t Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire). "They can really scoot, and it looks like they have a good attitude. We were able to interview a few of them, and the ones that we had in our room were tremendous. I'd anticipate that it's a pretty good group from what I’ve heard from other teams."

Amazingly, 12 wide receivers heard their names called before Moore despite the Western Michigan product's 95/1,292/10 slash line last season with the Broncos and 4.41-second 40-yard-dash speed.

The first-year target has three goals to work on. First, he must understand his playbook.

"It's starting to click," Moore told reporters Thursday. "I feel like everything in this offense is counters—like, we run this play—and this play's a counter to that play. So once you get the basics of everything, it starts to click a whole lot faster."

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Second, he must build a rapport with his starting quarterback. Mahomes and Moore have already worked out together. In fact, Moore sits directly behind Mahomes during team film sessions.

"Whenever I've got a question, I just go tap him real quick," Moore said. "And he's always able to whisper the answer to me or how he wants things done. I try to stay close to him."

Finally, everything must translate to the field. The second-round pick has reportedly been lighting up the first two weeks of training camp. Moore is making plays deep and even lining up in the backfield to run the ball.

"He's going to help us out a lot inside, outside, I could see him playing running back too," Smith-Schuster told reporters. "Just cuz he's got that in him."

The fact that Moore will play in the K.C. offense certainly helps his Offensive Rookie of the Year cause. Not only does he have the game's most creative quarterback under center, but Reid also is one of the game's best offensive minds. Oh, and Travis Kelce is the game's best receiving tight end, which takes pressure off the wide receivers. If Moore consistently creates separation and gets open, the Chiefs will get him the ball.

"He's a tough player," Mahomes told reporters. "You can tell he knows what he's doing. ... He has great routes and releases."

The incoming wide receiver crop is loaded, though. Multiple targets are already pushing for extensive playing time.

The Atlanta Falcons chose Drake London with the eighth overall pick. His draft standing gives him a slight edge based on expectations. The massive target (6'4", 213 lbs) is an instant mismatch on the field. However, the Falcons' quarterback situation is suspect, with Marcus Mariota and third-round rookie Desmond Ridder as their options.

Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks also all came off the board in the first round.

Wilson is playing with a second-year quarterback (Zach Wilson) on the New York Jets. The offense in New Orleans is a work-in-progress without Sean Payton leading the way as head coach. Williams is continuing to recover from a torn ACL suffered during the national championship game in January. Dotson and Burks don't have the best setups. Dotson will be catching passes from Carson Wentz in Washington, while the Tennessee Titans have a Derrick Henry-dominated scheme.

A few juicy options came off the board in the second round. A run on wide receivers began at No. 50 and ended with Moore at 54.

The New England Patriots traded up to the 50th selection and chose the class' fastest wide receiver, Tyquan Thornton, who ran a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the combine. Speed is a wonderful thing, but Thornton is a limited option at this point.

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From there, George Pickens, Alec Pierce and Moore came off the board in three consecutive picks. Pickens has first-round traits, but the Pittsburgh Steelers aren't settled at quarterback. Pierce continues to run with the Colts' first-team offense opposite Michael Pittman Jr., and he could become a favorite target for Matt Ryan.

Even options beyond the second round present some intrigue.

David Bell appears to be earmarked for the role Jarvis Landry left with the Cleveland Browns. Romeo Doubs is already earning the trust of four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers, which is no small feat. Kyle Philips is working with the first-team Titans offense as a slot receiver.

No shortage of talent exists among these players in a pass-first league.

Moore can steal the spotlight simply by providing Mahomes with someone somewhat resembling Hill as a playmaker in an offense that still serves as the NFL's standard-bearer. He's capable of running away with the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.


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