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Buying or Selling Hype for Three Chiefs Camp Standouts

Three rookies are receiving tons of hype, but is it legit enough to buy into this early in the year?

The preseason hasn't even officially started for the Kansas City Chiefs, yet their 2022 NFL Draft class is already being praised by many as an impressive one on the field. General manager Brett Veach put his faith in youth this offseason when he revamped multiple positions and opted for new-age depth and athleticism over veteran leadership. The early results are positive.

At training camp this summer, as is the case in any other year, there are certain players receiving more hype than others. Historically, a great deal of that camp hype leads to underwhelming results once the regular season rolls around — especially with rookies. With that said, Kansas City is in a unique position. If its rookies do manage to rise to the top, it will be because they beat some darn good players along the way. That's what comes with playing on such a high-level team.

In the spirit of that, let's dive into three of the most-hyped Chiefs newcomers and decide whether to buy or sell the buzz surrounding them right now.

1. Skyy Moore — WR

Skyy Moore, the Chiefs' second-round pick from this year's draft, has been one of the team's best players in training camp thus far. Despite suffering a hip injury last week, Moore returned to practice the following day and hasn't skipped a beat since then. The Western Michigan product is a poised player who runs crisp routes and has a knack for finding ways to get open. He isn't your typical rookie.

With that said, standing out as a first-year player in an Andy Reid offense is extremely difficult. Some would deem it virtually impossible, as the team runs such an intricate offense that allows for more creative liberty but also calls for more discipline and attention to detail. Moore's transition to the NFL should be a relatively smooth one but the offense he plays in, combined with the number of players ahead of him (likely three), makes it tough to see him becoming anything more than a fourth option in the offense in year one. His performances in camp are great and can be legitimate representations of who he is, but that won't lead to a regular-season breakout. 

Verdict: Sell... for now. 

2. Isiah Pacheco — RB

When the Chiefs selected Rutgers running back Isiah Pacheco in the seventh round, the general consensus was that the team was merely taking a flier on a player with impressive speed. A few months later, though, the first-year halfback is getting heavy reps with the first-team offense in training camp and will open the preseason as Kansas City's primary kick returner. That's a drastic change in such a short amount of time, thus generating one heck of a cloud of smoke. 

From strictly a special teams standpoint, Pacheco should be able to stick on the roster. I'd almost lean that he's a near-lock at this point. That favor with special teams coordinator Dave Toub matters in camp, and it'll likely get him a spot. Offensively, though, there just doesn't seem to be enough of a role for Pacheco to go around. 

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The jury is still out on Ronald Jones and Jerick McKinnon's statuses behind lead back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but who's to say that the same logic can't be applied to Pacheco? Standing out in training camp and leapfrogging a pair of backs for significant reps in the regular season are two separate things. There's so much about Pacheco that's still unknown and judging by the hype, one would anticipate that he's penciled in for a third-down role or something similar. In reality, that simply doesn't seem to be the case. 

Verdict: Buy the special teams role, sell the offensive role. 

3. Joshua Williams — CB

Coming from Fayetteville State to the NFL sounds like a challenge, and it is. As such, many viewed the Joshua Williams selection in the fourth round as more of a developmental pick (similar to Jaylen Watson in the seventh round). Due to cornerback Rashad Fenton's ongoing shoulder rehab that still has him on the physically unable to perform list, though, Williams is getting plenty of opportunities to showcase what he can do. By just about all accounts from camp, he's done well and may be ahead of schedule. 

With the Chiefs' cornerback situation currently shaping up to be a downright cage match between rookies and veterans alike, not many spots are set in stone. Aside from L'Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie, just about everyone else currently participating in camp is left fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster and a good slot on the depth chart. Williams's length (6-foot-2, near-33-inch arms) and high-end athleticism project to come in handy once he settles in, and the fact that he's getting an opportunity due to Fenton being out and surprising a ton of people while getting a ton of tough assignments seems mostly real. Who knows what will happen once Fenton — a solid, proven starter — gets back but for now, buying the Williams hype isn't crazy.

Verdict: Buy until Fenton gets back. 

Tucker Franklin of KC Sports Network joined me on Monday's Roughing the Kicker podcast — his first time back on the show since hosting it over a year ago — to discuss some of his best observations from Chiefs training camp. If you'd like to listen to our full conversation featuring commentary on just about every position group on the team, you can do so below. 

For more Kansas City Chiefs coverage and analysis, be sure to subscribe to the 'Roughing the Kicker' podcast. RTK is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever else you listen to your favorite programs.