JuJu Smith-Schuster is a very talented wide receiver and has shown it in his first years in the league at Pittsburgh. How will he fit with the Kansas City Chiefs?
The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2017. The most production of his career was in his rookie and sophomore campaigns where he totaled over 2200 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Since then there have been questions surrounding the young receiver. In his first two seasons he was second on the depth chart behind Antonio Brown. Since Brown left Pittsburgh and Smith-Schuster became the number one guy his production has fell slightly.
Smith-Schuster became the main target and since then has only accumulated a little over 1500 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. The numbers are also skewed due to multiple injuries sustained during those years. Though many still agree that he may not be a number one option. His fall in production wasn’t helped by Ben Roethlisberger who has not been the same in his last couple of years. Now catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, Smith-Schuster looks to prove his doubters wrong. Smith-Schuster comes to Kansas City hoping for a fresh start.
Role in Kansas City
With the loss of Tyreek Hill, Smith-Schuster will have to step back into the number one receiver role right away. Currently, the number two receiver is Mecole Hardman who the Chiefs expect to make a large leap this season taking over Hill’s deep threat role. Travis Kelce will surely help Smith-Schuster. Kelce will be the main pass catcher in the offense and will take attention away from him.
Smith-Schuster is not the main pass catcher in this offense but he will be utilized quite frequently. Expect him to be used as a short/intermediate route runner. This was the role where he shined in his early years as he is a great runner after the catch. Also with the loss of Tryeek Hill expect the Chiefs to utilize the run more this year. Smith-Schuster is a great run-blocking receiver and will help add another dimension to this offense. JuJu Smith-Schuster is a very talented receiver and was a great pick-up for Kansas City.
Although he isn’t in the same category as Tyreek Hill, Smith-Schuster will help the Chiefs recover from their biggest loss of the offseason. He adds lots of value as a pass catcher and run blocker. Smith-Schuster’s time with the aging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t help his cause at all. So expect more consistency as the change in quarterbacks will help his play become consistent. Smith-Schuster was ultimately a very solid signing and will help Mahomes keep this offense in top regards of the NFL.