ith new receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Corey Coleman, and Justyn Ross on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, the receiver position was being closely watched when the Chiefs underwent their first set of organized teams activities (OTAs) from May 25 to 26.
Any of those aforementioned players have the ability to shine during the drills at OTAs. And some of them did. But there was another, lesser-known pass-catcher that caught the attention of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes when they took the field, enough so that Mahomes gave him a shoutout after Day 2 of OTAs.
“[Justin] Watson’s been a pleasant surprise. That dude can roll,” Mahomes explained during his press conference at OTAs on May 26. “He came down to Texas, and I threw with him the first day. I called Veach, and I was like, ‘How fast is this guy?’ He was running so fast and I was late on my throws.”
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What to Know About Watson
Watson entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018. During his four seasons with the Buccaneers, he played in a total of 40 games, recording 23 catches on 40 targets for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. Watson took the field the most on special teams, as he played on average 60% of the team’s special teams snaps over the past four seasons.
The Buccaneers waived Watson on January 15, and he joined the Chiefs on February 4.
With very little production on the offensive side of the football throughout his career thus far, it does come as a surprise that Watson is catching Mahomes’ attention at OTAs. Doing so despite being surrounded by many talented pass-catchers speaks volumes about his efforts and is a welcomed surprise as the post-Tyreek Hill era begins in Kansas City.
Mahomes: We Want to Spread the Ball Out
With so many new faces, it’s tough to tell how Kansas City’s offense will look this upcoming season. Tight end Travis Kelce and Hill were Mahomes’ top targets since he became the starting quarterback in Kansas City. But we’ve never seen the Chiefs offense with this group of pass-catchers and without Hill for an extended period of time.
However, Mahomes revealed what the post-Tyreek Hill offense in Kansas City will look like.
“What you’re going to see with this offense is it’s going to be everybody,” Mahomes said during his press conference at organized teams activities (OTAs) on May 26. “The whole receiving room will [each] have big days, and that’s something that we can use to our advantage…Defenses won’t know [where the ball is going].”
Head coach Andy Reid spoke with the media as well, complimenting the new receivers of the Chiefs for how quickly they have picked things up.
“There’s way better execution than you’d think for a whole bunch of new guys together,” he said, while also noting that the work the receivers put in with Mahomes down in Texas several weeks ago is likely the reason for the fast start at OTAs.
With the first set of OTAs over, next up on Kansas City’s offseason schedule is another set of OTAs, which will go from May 31 to June 2. The team’s last set of OTAs will be from June 7 to 10.
After OTAs, the last time the Chiefs meet before summer break will be for mandatory minicamp from June 14 to 16.