Chiefs’ rookie reveal source of crazy skill

Chiefs' rookie reveal source of crazy skill

The Kansas City Chiefs have a rookie that learned one crazy skill set from a completely different sport. The Chiefs went into the 2023 NFL Draft set on drafting a receiver.



And, that’s what they did. The Chiefs went and grabbed SMU receiver Rashee Rice with the 55th pick in the draft. At first glance of Rice’s tape, he is amazing.



Chiefs' rookie reveal source of crazy skill



When you’re watching, you can help but come away thinking that this guy catches everything, whether it’s overthrown or under-thrown. That was what he prided himself on in college. But, the more you watch, you may see that he never really created separation at the top of his routes.

He was never really open, and a lot of that had to do with a foot injury he played with. But, just because he wasn’t open doesn’t mean he didn’t get the ball, because he did. He was the contested catch guy.



Catching contested catches isn’t easy, and not every receiver has that skill set. Rice did it so often in his 2023 season, that it was hard to ignore. But, where he did get that from?



Chiefs' rookie reveal source of crazy skill



“Repetition on just being able to be comfortable catching the ball,” Rice said on Saturday at the Chiefs practice facility. “Some people are naturally gifted at being able to make those catches. I just kind of practice it and kind of translate my basketball game from high school into going up top and basically grabbing a rebound.”

It’s not everyday you hear a player say they get one of their best skills from basketball, but it makes a ton of sense. The Chiefs will need that skill set, and likely value that in Rice’s game.

They value that Toney was able to do that a bit last year, Moore has shown flashes of it, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has made his money doing that.

Chiefs' rookie reveal source of crazy skill

Since Rice plays the way he does and has such a great catch radius, it would be ideal for him to play the X position, or the same position as MVS. The X position is usually a bigger receiver, or a guy that can work the intermediate part of the field as well as be a deep threat due to their ability to haul in huge catches.

Rice is open to that, But then again, he’s going to play wherever the team wants him to play. “Honestly, I think I’m comfortable anywhere on the field to where I can get a miss match or have the ball in my hands,” Rice continued.

It’s fair to say he doesn’t lack confidence, which is a good thing. Rice will need that when he competes for playing time in a pretty good receiver room that is fairly young.

Not to mention, this is the same receiver room that just won a Super Bowl, but the best receiver is no longer on the squad, so there is an open spot to be taken. Rice being a rookie, doesn’t mean he can’t be the one to take it.

Chiefs' rookie reveal source of crazy skill

For Rice, he couldn’t be in a better position. He is coming to a championship team with the best quarterback in the league, and they just so happen to be in the market for a wide receiver one. If he executes this right, who’s to say he can’t be that guy?