Unlikely Chiefs WR ‘Sleeper’ Earns National Attention

Patrick Mahomes

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is looking for his new favorite targets at wide receiver.

Which Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers will emerge in training camp and lead this new-look unit in 2022?

That’s one of the major questions at the tip of everyone’s tongue this offseason and NFL Network pundit Peter Schrager believes many are overlooking a “sleeper” candidate.

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Justin Watson Gets All the Hype

During a Monday, June 27 segment of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Schrager explained why he doesn’t expect the Chiefs offense to fall apart without Tyreek Hill. Within that answer was some unprecedented WR hype from the co-host, and it centered around former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fifth-round pick and current KC camp challenger Justin Watson.

“Why are we talking about Justin Watson at 8 a.m.?” Schrager teased. “Because the buzz out of minicamp on Justin Watson is that this guy can make an impact.”

He continued: “I believe he will not only make the team. I think he’s going to play a difference in this thing. You think about what [Patrick] Mahomes can do, and then you put these different types of players. Instead of having one guy in Tyreek Hill, now you have eight different guys that you can throw the ball to, and of course, Travis Kelce at tight end. I don’t think anyone’s going to do what Tyreek Hill did, but I don’t think this team’s going to fall apart without him, and I think the Chiefs — still feeling that loss to the Bengals — have something to prove, and the fact that they are not the hunted right now and they are the hunters, I don’t think that bodes well for anybody, including the Buffalo Bills.”

Attention — the Chiefs hype train has a new conductor in 2022.

What a speech from Schrager and that last part has to pump up fans. “They are the hunters,” and Watson is doing his best to hunt for a job with this AFC contender.

It’s important to point out that Schrager isn’t just blowing smoke. The respected NFL mind just spent the weekend with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach at “Big Slick.”

If any analyst has some inside information on this race, it’s Schrager — but he’s not the only one paying close attention to Watson.

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A Spring to Remember

The 6-foot-3 wide receiver has quietly made a name for himself this spring. Not only did he catch the eye of Arrowhead Pride editor Pete Sweeney a time or two, but Mahomes also admitted that he was a “pleasant surprise” to the press.

The superstar quarterback even joked that he called up Veach after the first time he threw with Watson to ask him “how fast is this guy?” Mahomes later explained that the new pass-catcher “was running so fast” that he was “late” on his throws.

That chemistry improved quickly as Watson torched OTAs and minicamp. He’s also an asset on special teams, which is often the deciding factor for the final few roster spots.

Film analyst Ron Kopp of Arrowhead Pride is on board with Schrager too. He voiced on May 31: “With special-teams impact being very important for the bottom of the depth chart at wide receiver, Watson’s NFL experience there may give him the edge over rookies or other veteran players that aren’t expected to contribute on special teams… Watson might be the quiet favorite of the group.”

There’s still a ways to go in this Kansas City wide receiver battle royale but the Pennsylvania product looks like a name to watch. Schrager even referred to him as his “sleeper pick for a big season.”


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