The Kansas City Chiefs came fresh off their bye week with a transaction that brought in an intriguing weapon for the return game.
The Chiefs signed wide receiver Dazz Newsome to their practice squad, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero on October 31.
Newsome, 23, entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2021. During his rookie season, Newsome recorded just 2 catches on 5 targets for 23 yards in 3 games played, per Pro Football Reference.
It’s Newsome’s ability on special teams, however, that could provide some value to Chiefs Kingdom.
Newsome to Replace Moore?
Coming out of UNC, Newsome was known as a player that has above-average start-stop ability and can change direction quickly and smoothly. Those traits are what helped Newsome lead the ACC in punt return average (9.9 yards/return) during his senior season at UNC, per the team’s website. During his rookie season with the Bears, Newsome returned 6 punts for 75 yards — an exceptional 12.5 yards per return.
The Chiefs got to see Newsome play in person during the preseason opener when he caught a 13-yard touchdown pass against them.
Yet, Newsome’s return ability could come in handy based on Kansas City’s recent struggles in the return game.
In the Week 7 win against the San Francisco 49ers, rookie Skyy Moore muffed a punt that was recovered by the 49ers in the Chiefs’ red zone. That marked the second muffed punt of the season for Moore.
The addition of Newsome could be an opportunity for Moore to step away from his return duties. From there, Moore could focus on developing within an offense in which he has struggled to carve out a role. Over the last two games, Moore has played just 34 combined snaps on offense, per Pro Football Reference.
Along with Newsome, the Chiefs recently traded for receiver Kadarius Toney, who was also an explosive punt returner at Florida just two years ago. So, the defending AFC West champions could also consider him as an option to replace Moore, if they are actually considering replacing him.
Scouting Report on Newsome
Prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein did a write-up on Newsome’s ability coming out of college.
“Competitive, high-energy slot with gadget package and punt return talent to help round out his potential roster flexibility,” Zierlein wrote. “Newsome has work to do before he can be labeled a polished pro prospect. His pass-catching technique is below average and his route-running is a little too unfocused at this time. However, his short-area footwork and ability to alter his route speed provide hope that he can improve quickly in that department. Punt returning could get him on the field quickly depending on where he lands, but his ceiling will be determined by whether or not he grows from being a catch-and-run talent to a well-rounded target.”
Twitter users also reacted to the Newsome signing with their own opinions of the former ACC receiver.
“They say they’re not looking for a replacement at PR/KR, but then make moves like this, which is the most ‘trying to find a PR/KR’ move ever,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Loved him coming into the draft. Hope he can pan out,” another user wrote.
“I had a late 4th/5th on Dazz coming out. Good slot receiver, just hoping he stays healthy,” another user wrote.