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Patrick Mahomes connects with Jody Fortson for two first-half touchdowns

Vincent Frank

Star Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is going to have to rely on a combination of pass-catchers to step up after they shockingly traded Tryeek Hill during the offseason.

Kansas City signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help shoulder the load. It also exhusted a second-round pick on wid receiver Skyy Moore from Central Michigan. Travis Kelce remains Mahomes’ top target.

With Mahomes playing a whole lot in Saturday’s preseason game against the Washington Commanders, it wasn’t anyone from this group that stood out.

Rather, the former NFL MVP connected with someone by the name of Jody Fortson on two first-half touchdowns as Mahomes threw the ball all around the park at Arrowhead.

The first score came from five yards out to conclude a 12-play, 87-yard game-opening drive for Mahomes and the Chiefs.

What a great back-shoulder throw from Patrick Mahomes. We also need to point out just how awesome the route was from Fortson.

The two would also connect in the second quarter to give Kansas City a 14-0 lead.

It sure looks like these two are on the same page. That could prove to be vital moving forward as Kansas City attempts to make up for the loss of Hill.

Related: Patrick Mahomes and NFL’s top QBs of 2022

Could Jody Fortson be Patrick Mahomes’ diamond in the rough?

jody fortson as patrick mahomes' go-to-target
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mecole Hardman and Valdes-Scantling will be Kansas City’s starting boundary receivers this season with JuJu Smith-Schuster manning the slot. The Chiefs have also been impressed by Skyy Moore. Obviously, Kelce is TE1.

But the performance of Fortson from the tight end position has to be seen as eye-opening. An undrafted free agent from Valdosta State back in 2019, Fortson had been waived by the Chiefs multiple times during his tenure in Kansas City.

He finally made it on the active roster heading into the 2021 campaign — catching two touchdowns in six games before being placed on injured reserve.

More than anything, Fortson could be utilized as a major red-zone threat for Mahomes and the Chiefs this season. It’ll be difficult for opposing defenses to scheme against two tight end sets with Kelce doing his thing.

Kansas City views its pass-catchers as more scheme-specific. That’s why it didn’t hestiate to trade Hill in the first place. And with Patrick Mahomes doing his thing, this could now extend to Jody Fortson.