At the risk of sounding overly-excited, I'm ready to call it: Rashee Rice is already the best skill position player Brett Veach has ever drafted.
It's not close.
The second-round rookie out of SMU leads all Chiefs receivers in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns while showcasing a versatile skillset far beyond his years.
Rice is a legit player and Veach found himself a stud.
Why Rashee Rice is Best Chiefs Skill Position Draft Pick in Years
If the hype train is leaving the station, call me the conductor. One of the league's best at creating separation AND yards after the catch? That meets the eye test.
Rice's current 17-game pace would put him at 63 catches on 83 targets for 741 yards and 7 touchdowns. However, his 17-game pace from Week 3 and beyond is 71 catches on 92 targets for 870 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Those numbers are bananas for any rookie wide receiver, let alone one in Andy Reid's offense that's notoriously difficult for rookies to produce in.
While the Chargers' defense is a mess, Rice still showed an advanced understanding of zone coverage to find space and play off Travis Kelce's gravity. If defenses commit to slowing Kelce down, Rice should be a huge beneficiary as Mahomes' secondary safety blanket.
We typically don't see receivers display this level of maturity in their rookie seasons, so Rice is already ahead of schedule.
His best skill so far though, has been his incredible ability to generate yards after the catch.
Rice is averaging a ridiculous 7.5 yards after the catch, third-most among ALL NFL wide receivers. His uncanny ability to find space AND get yards after he receives the ball gives him a special combination of skills to lean on that'll only grow stronger with experience.
He's gaining 2.59 yards per route run despite getting only 41% of snaps so far. I expect his snap count to grow dramatically over the course of the season. By the playoffs, he'll be a bonafide machine.
Last week, Rice was on the field for a season-high 59% of snaps and responded with five catches for 60 yards and a TD. That's the kind of stat line we should expect moving forward as he grows more comfortable.
Brett Veach's history of drafting skill-position players is ugly. He's drafted Tremon Smith, Darwin Thompson, Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cornell Powell, Noah Gray, Isiah Pacheco, Skyy Moore, then of course, Rice.
Hardman and Pacheco are the only two you could argue are better picks than Rice. I won't argue with the value of finding a gem like Pacheco in the seventh round, just that receivers are more valuable, though Rice is already on pace to shatter Hardman's career-best numbers with the Chiefs.
We've long waited for Veach to find a true stud wide receiver to pair with Kelce and Mahomes. At long last, he finally has.
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