Last season Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt accounted for 2,832 yards and 27 touchdowns in 27 total games. That's 40 percent of the production provided by Chiefs' pass catchers and running backs. Hunt was released last November after video emerged of him shoving and kicking a woman (he's since been signed by the Browns), and Hill's future is uncertain because of off-field incidents that led the team to suspend him indefinitely.
But even without two of their best players the Chiefs' offense should remain among the league's best. For starters, coach Andy Reid isn't going anywhere. And then there's reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, the third-year quarterback who is only expected to get better after a phenomonal sophomore season.
Remember: the Chiefs were one game away from the Super Bowl before falling in overtime to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The future remains bright, however, primarily because the offense is still loaded with playmakers.
The offense was already good when coach Andy Reid decided in the offseason to elevate Mahomes, the 2017 first-round pick, to starter. And a unit that went from fourth in '17, according to Football Outsiders, finished as the most explosive offense in '18. Mahomes threw 50 touchdowns, completed some of the most physics-defying passes you could dream up, and Hill was damn near unstoppable. But with Hill's status unclear the Chiefs took Georgia speedster Mecole Hardman in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Hardman played in Georgia's run-heavy offense but he was a terror from the slot, showing the ability to regularly win when running either underneath or deep routes. He also showed the ability to break tackles despite his size and in the right system (see Kansas City) Hardman can be special. Added bonus: He blazed a sub-4.4 forty time at the combine and he returns punts and kicks.
While the learning curve is steep for any rookie, Hardman has particularly big shoes to fill if Hill misses time. But the early returns have been encouraging.
"He's a great player," Mahomes said last month. "Obviously, he's very fast, but he's working on everything -- route-running, getting accustomed to the offense. ...
"When you add guys and add depth, it really is a special thing to know that the staff and everybody keeps adding and are never satisfied with where we are at, we are going to keep getting better every single year," Mahomes continued. "I was very excited."