Chiefs Sign Round 2 WR Rashee Rice, Wrap Draft Class Deals

The Chiefs are done with the rookie signing portion of their offseason, announcing an agreement with second-round pick Rashee Rice.

Choosing a receiver in Round 2 for the second straight year, the Chiefs will hope Rice can make an early impact. The team exited its minicamp Thursday with some questions at wide receiver, having lost J.J. Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency. Rice represents the defending Super Bowl champions’ top addition here.

Eyeing a more cost-conscious approach at receiver now that Patrick Mahomes‘ contract comes with high cap numbers annually, the Chiefs were not believed to have come too close on terms with Smith-Schuster before he bolted for New England on a three-year, $25.5MM deal ($16MM guaranteed). The team eyed a new Smith-Schuster deal this offseason, but the team’s second-leading pass catcher from 2022 is gone. Younger players are now supplementing Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Kansas City is expecting a jump from Kadarius Toney, now that the ex-Giants first-rounder is going through the offseason program with the Chiefs, and used a second-round choice on Skyy Moore last year. Moore did not make much of an impact as a rookie, though he emerged for two key playoff contributions — a pivotal fourth-quarter punt return in the AFC title game and a short Super Bowl touchdown grab — and should be expected to play more with Smith-Schuster and Hardman gone.

The Chiefs have been connected to DeAndre Hopkins, discussing the 10-year veteran with the Cardinals in a trade. But with the former All-Pro not wanting to take too much of a discount from his Cardinals deal — an issue during trade talks — Hopkins-Chiefs rumors have been scarce over the past several days.

Chosen 55th overall, Rice played a regular role for the past four SMU squads. Last season, however, the 204-pound wideout broke through for the American Athletic Conference school. Rice caught 96 passes for 1,355 yards and 10 TDs in 2022, ranking in the top five in Division I-FBS in receptions and yards. Still, ESPN’s Scouts Inc. viewed this pick as a considerable reach, having ranked Rice 124th as a prospect. The Chiefs did work on this draft’s first-round-caliber wideouts and were on the radar for a potential Zay Flowers or Jordan Addison trade-up, but Rice ended up being the player tabbed.

Here is the Chiefs’ seven-man draft class:

Round 1, No. 31: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE (Kansas State) (signed)
Round 2, No. 55 (from Vikings through Lions): Rashee Rice, WR (SMU) (signed)
Round 3, No. 92 (from Bengals): Wanya Morris, T (Oklahoma) (signed)
Round 4, No. 119 (from Lions through Vikings): Chamarri Conner, CB (Virginia Tech) (signed)
Round 5, No. 166: BJ Thompson, LB (Stephen F. Austin) (signed)
Round 6, No. 194 (from Lions): Keondre Coburn, DT (Texas) (signed)
Round 7, No. 250: Nic Jones, CB (Ball State) (signed)

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