There’s an old theory inside the NFL community that if you find a stable core, it’s much easier to piece together the rest of a 53-man roster.
Three all-important pieces make up that core — quarterback, head coach and general manager. The Kansas City Chiefs have that in Patrick Mahomes II, Andy Reid and Brett Veach. Since they decided to trade away superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason, they have proven week after week that this three-pronged group is the strength of this franchise.
That’s not to say Travis Kelce or Chris Jones isn’t integral, they are. But so long as that core is intact, the Chiefs will always be a threat to win a Super Bowl and Kadarius Toney is the latest example of that.
NFL Insider Eyes Scary Kadarius Toney Ceiling With Chiefs
After spending a first-round selection on Toney in 2021, the New York Giants’ new regime decided he wasn’t worth the headache when they traded him away for peanuts. Reid and Veach on the other hand saw moldable talent, licking their chops as they acquired a potential star in the making for pennies on the dollar.
“Brett Veach, Andy Reid, and the Kansas City Chiefs appear to have done it again,” wrote Lombardo. “Veach has habitually found value in under-performing former top draft picks by dropping them into Andy Reid’s laboratory. Reid just might have found the Chiefs’ next elite playmaker in Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal, in wide receiver Kadarius Toney.”
He continued, tapping sources around the league for their opinion: “Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Toney looked like he was made for Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ scheme. ‘He’s a better version of Mecole Hardman,’ an AFC South scouting director told Heavy on Sunday. ‘He’s better as a runner after the catch. He’s stronger. Toney can also do a lot of screens and reverses, the same way they used Tyreek Hill.'”
Lombardo admitted that there’s only one Hill in the NFL, but did add that “Toney looks like the closest yet to a true replacement for Hill’s role in the Chiefs’ offense that Kansas City spent the first half of the season trying to discover.”
It’s true, Toney has already surpassed rookie Skyy Moore and he might box Hardman out of the snap share once he and JuJu Smith-Schuster return from injury. Week 10 was just a taste, but Lombardo believes more is coming.
“Chosen by the Giants 20th overall in 2021, Toney looks like he found a home in the Chiefs’ vertical passing game,” he concluded. “Toney’s speed and playmaking ability after the catch give him the chance to make a real impact. ‘Kadarius has always had talent,’ the executive said. ‘His talent will be freed up playing in Kansas City.'”
Chiefs No Longer Need Odell Beckham Jr.
There has been a ton of speculation involving Odell Beckham Jr. to the Chiefs but the Toney acquisition might put an end to that rumor once and for all.
Sure, Kansas City has had a couple of injuries at wide receiver in recent weeks between Hardman and Smith-Schuster but neither appear to be long-term issues. Even if they were to miss a couple of weeks, Toney displayed that he can fill the void and they should return by the time “OBJ” makes his decision near the end of the month.
Outside of the newcomer, the Chiefs still have Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, Moore, and oh yeah — a trio of tight ends and running backs that can all catch the football. That list includes Kelce, Noah Gray, Jody Fortson, Isiah Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon, and a former first-round talent in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Beckham made some sense before Toney but after seeing how well the Florida product is fitting into the Chiefs’ plans already, there’s really no reason to spend valuable cap space on an injury-prone veteran. Mahomes has plenty of mouths to feed and OBJ only further complicates that matter.