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Here's Why the Chiefs Don't Need to Replace Sammy Watkins

Isaiah De Los Santos
The Kansas City Chiefs already have a replacement for Sammy Watkins.
The Kansas City Chiefs already have a replacement for Sammy Watkins. / Harry How/Getty Images
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The Kansas City Chiefs have been active this offseason looking for upgrades after falling short in Super Bowl LV. The team addressed its offensive line in free agency, but hasn't made much of a splash at receiver with JuJu Smith-Schuster passing on them and Sammy Watkins leaving for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chiefs letting Watkins walk shows their confidence in options already on the roster.

Watkins is known as a deep threat, posting a career average of 14.5 yards per reception. However, he struggled with injuries in his three seasons with the Chiefs, so Kansas City couldn't always depend on Watkins to help stretch the defense alongside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. It appears Mecole Hardman is ready to step up into that role.

Hardman has already displayed his big-play potential, averaging 16.4 yards per reception over his first two seasons. The receiver also posted an average depth of target of 11.0 and 10.6 in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Hardman's production and explosiveness (7 TDs of 30+ yards since 2019) already rival what Watkins was bringing to the table, and he's not been an injury liability like the latter so far in his career. Letting Watkins walk is easy with Hardman on the roster ready to take on a bigger role within the offense.

The downfield element of Hardman's game allows the Chiefs to pursue a more well-rounded pass-catcher in the first round of this year's draft to complement their speedsters on the outside.


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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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