General manager Brett Veach is fresh off another stellar NFL Draft. Wide receiver Skyy Moore is already making the GM look brilliant with strong performances at Chiefs’ training camp.
It is completely understandable if you never watched any Western Michigan games over the past few years. They are, by no means, a powerhouse on the national scene of college football. However, this is where the newest Kansas City Chief, Skyy Moore, started down his path to an NFL career. In his breakout 2021 season, Moore was targeted 120+ times, and hauled in 95 of those, while only dropping four!
Moore proved to be a legitimate threat after the catch, using his swift moves to evade oncoming tackles without ever breaking a sweat. This is evident by the sparkling 14.5 yards per reception across his three years with Western Michigan. In the aforementioned 2021 season, Moore not only had gaudy reception numbers, he also tallied 1292 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Talk about saving your best for last.
Moore entered the pre-draft process with a slight buzz surrounding him. At the NFL Draft Scouting Combine in March, he tested very well, but was mostly overshadowed by the slew of receivers that clocked in the 4.3 range for the 40-yard dash. Moore’s 4.41s time is nothing to scoff at either, as anyone who watched his tape knows that his game speed has never been a question.
Entering the weekend of the 2022 NFL Draft, it was a mystery as to where Skyy Moore would land. Rumors stated that he could go as high as the first round, with the floor being the middle of day two. Unfortunately for Moore, he waited all of Thursday without ever hearing his name called. Everything happens for a reason, though, and this became clear when the Kansas City Chiefs took the game-breaking wide receiver at No. 54 overall in the second round.
This move is not a simple one-for-one replacement for the recently traded speedster, Tyreek Hill, but it goes a long way towards turning the page. Moore cannot replicate the speed that Hill possesses (who can?), but he can serve a similar role in the Andy Reid offense. Moore excels at separating and using his pinpoint fundamentals to manipulate defensive backs as they attempt to stick with him in coverage. He is such a smooth mover, before and after the catch is made.
The Chiefs added a couple veteran wide receivers in Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but given where each guy is at this point in their respective careers, there are plenty of snaps ripe for the picking in Kansas City. Mecole Hardman could ascend, but not enough to take Moore out of the picture. Let’s just assume that Moore claims at least 75% of the snaps for the offense in 2022. What could that look like for Kansas City?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is mostly just a burner, and the same could be said about Mecole Hardman. Neither guy has reached the 700-yard mark in any season, leaving many to wonder just how impactful they can be. JuJu Smith-Schuster is a bit different. He predominantly plays in the slot, and uses more of a finesse style to create space. JuJu should be the top wide receiver target for Patrick Mahomes.
Skyy Moore is being given every chance to prove that he belongs on the field as a rookie. Given his proficiency as a route runner, his strong start at Chiefs’ training camp, and his vice grip-like hands, I see Moore starting sooner, rather than later. While ideally Moore would serve as a slot receiver, he has shown a capability to get open on the outside just as easily. Since JuJu is likely entrenched in the slot, this will be something Moore must continue to prove leading up to the season.
It is easy to envision Andy Reid using Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman has field stretchers vertically, and allowing Skyy Moore and JuJu Smith-Schuster to do heavy damage from sideline to sideline. Travis Kelce will benefit over the middle, and he could reasonably approach his career-high of 105 receptions that he set in 2020. The unit will be lethal if the Chiefs can get production from their ground game, spearheaded by former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as well as the newly-acquired Ronald Jones.
Ultimately, the team is going to go as far as Patrick Mahomes can take them. Early reports in training camp say that Mahomes is developing a strong connection with Skyy Moore. A few videos have made their way to social media, with each one showing a different jaw-dropping play from Moore. The Chiefs may have viewed Moore as more of a 2023 piece when they selected him, but the way he has performed this off-season says he’s ready to contribute right now.
Keep an eye on Moore throughout the remainder of training camp and the preseason. It’s unlikely that he puts up numbers that rival what Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle did last season as rookies, but Moore will make a huge impact for his squad. Patrick Mahomes knows better than me, but if I was out there throwing the football, I’d be looking for Skyy Moore early and often. When he becomes the go-to target for Mahomes, the NFL is going to be in a lot of trouble.