NFL 2022: 5 Wide receivers ready to have a breakout season

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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NFL Free Agency
NFL Free Agency; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Breakout NFL WR no. 2: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City

There was a time when JuJu Smith-Schuster was the next great Pittsburgh wide receiver. The former USC wideout made the Pro Bowl in his second season as a pro.

In 2018 he caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. However, Antonio Brown was the No. 1 target taking the coverage away from the 22-year-old wideout.

Fast forward, Smith-Schuster was known more for his TikTok videos than his production on the field. Last season he was injured, so we didn’t get to see him.

Now, he’s a Chief playing with the best quarterback in the game. Smith-Schuster should dominate as a slot receiver since he does his best work on the inside. It’s easy to forget what the former second-round pick is capable of.

Smith-Schuster is 6-1 215-pounds with reliable hands, he’s a solid route runner, and his big body makes him hard to bring down. He’ll see the targets Hill saw toward the latter part of the season. No, he won’t make the big plays, but he’ll catch a lot of first downs.

Playing alongside two speedsters in Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman, Smith-Schuster will do the dirty work.

Thanks to Travis Kelce, he will never see double coverage. The last healthy season for Smith-Schuster saw him catch 97 passes for 831 yards and nine touchdowns.

Mahomes will help Smith-Schuster see his first 1,000-yard season since 2018 as he becomes the quarterback’s second favorite target.