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Rashee Rice NFL Rookie Profile - Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Outlook

Rashee Rice - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

Southern Methodist University wide receiver Rashee Rice was considered a quality prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. He played well in his early seasons in college, but he put together a splendid senior year in 2022 that boosted his draft stock. His production and athleticism are both promising indicators of future success.

However, plenty of questions surrounded Rice, preventing him from being a top-tier receiver in this draft class. Unlike some of his peers with more complete profiles, Rice was not considered a first-round prospect and was ultimately selected in the late-second round by the Kansas City Chiefs

What kind of accomplishments did Rice achieve at SMU? How might these translate to his NFL career? Let's further analyze Rice's outlook.


Rashee Rice NFL Rookie Profile

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

College: SMU

Height: 6'0 1/2"

Weight: 204

Age: 23 (04/22/2000)
40-Time: 4.51

Arm Length: 32 3/4”

Hand Size: 9 1/2"

2023 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick: 24


Rice's Gradual Improvement

Rice joined the Mustangs in 2019 as a three-star recruit. He had his moments as a freshman, including a seven-reception, 122-yard performance against the Memphis Tigers in his fourth collegiate game. A 61-yard touchdown against Navy also showed the big-play ability that he would demonstrate further in future seasons.

Season Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns Long
2019 25 403 16.1 1 61
2020 48 683 14.2 5 55
2021 64 670 10.5 9 62

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Rice bumped up his averages to 4.8 catches and 68.3 yards per game. He placed fifth in the American Athletic Conference in both receptions and receiving yards, and he led SMU in both of those categories as well. Moreover, he tied for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns.

2021 was another year of improvement for Rice. Although his yardage totals dropped slightly, he set career highs in both receptions and receiving touchdowns. Danny Gray paced the Mustangs in receiving yardage, but Rice led in catches, and the two wideouts tied with nine scores. Rice was sixth in the conference in catches, 10th in yards, and third in receiving touchdowns.

2022 Stardom

With Gray leaving for the NFL after 2021, Rice entered his senior season as the clear top receiving option for SMU. He did not disappoint. He opened the year on a streak of three consecutive prolific performances. During that stretch, he caught 28 passes for 491 yards and three scores. The Mustangs scored 120 points in that span and began the year 2-1.

Rice started to slow down a little bit after his 193-yard game versus Maryland, although he did post a 12-catch, 122-yard showing versus Central Florida. The senior's next big explosion came against Tulsa in late October. With nine catches, 180 yards, and two scores, Rice shredded the Golden Hurricane in a 45-34 victory.

The Mustangs' final regular season outing was Rice's last appearance of the year. In a 34-31 win over Tulsa, Rice racked up 13 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. He ended 2022 with 100+ receiving yards or at least one touchdown in 9 of 12 games. He also had seven games with a reception that went for 30+ yards.

Opponent Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns Long
North Texas 8 166 20.8 1 54
Lamar 9 132 14.7 2 33
Maryland 11 193 17.5 0 34
TCU 6 74 12.3 1 25
UCF 12 122 10.2 0 18
Navy 3 74 24.7 0 68
Cincinnati 4 41 10.3 0 17
Tulsa 9 180 20.0 2 75
Houston 9 86 9.6 2 21
USF 6 99 16.5 1 30
Tulane 6 41 6.8 0 11
Memphis 13 147 11.3 1 39
Total 96 1,355 14.1 10 75

While we can naturally assume that a team's offense will have better production in the games where they win than in the games where they lose, Rice's stats in victories are particularly impressive. He averaged 32 more receiving yards in wins than in losses; he also accounted for 36 percent of the team's receiving touchdowns in wins and only nine percent in the team's losses.

2022 Season Avg Rec. Avg Yards Avg TDs
SMU Wins (seven games) 8.14 126.29 1.29
SMU Losses (five games) 7.80 94.20 0.20

Rice was fifth in the country in receptions and third in receiving yards. He was also second in the American in receiving touchdowns. He finished his college career with 233 receptions (sixth in AAC history), 3,111 receiving yards (seventh), and 25 receiving touchdowns (sixth).


Rashee Rice Draft Stock Movement

Rice exited the season as a projected second-round selection with first-round potential. As one of the top senior wide receivers in the country, he received and accepted his invite to the Senior Bowl. His performance there drew mixed reviews; positive reports about his quickness and athleticism arose, but some observers were left disappointed by his struggles to gain separation and his difficulties against press coverage.

A 4.51-second 40-yard dash time at the Scouting Combine was good but not great, but some of Rice's other measurements were quite impressive. His 1.49-second 10-yard split showed his burst, and his 41-inch vertical jump was very strong. However, Rice's stock continued to slip, in part because his height of 6'0 1/2" was a bit shorter than expected. By the time the draft arrived, he was a consensus third-round prospect.

Rashee Rice Mock Draft Data

Rashee Rice Mock Draft Data

Rice ended up bouncing back to a second-round pick in the actual draft, going 55th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs. This marked the second consecutive year where the Chiefs selected a receiver in the second round, having taken Skyy Moore in 2021.


Rashee Rice 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

Kansas City's receiver room is in turmoil after two consecutive offseasons of losses at the position. JuJu Smith-Schuster (Patriots) and Mecole Hardman Jr. (Jets) both left for other teams in free agency, leaving the team with young wideouts like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore atop the depth chart. Attempting to bolster the group with the selection of Rice made a lot of sense.

Despite having the build of a slot receiver, Rice's body control and ball skills make him much better at contested catches than one might expect. This skillset means he has the versatility to line up outside as well, which gives the Chiefs the important flexibility to move Toney and Moore around the formation alongside him.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will once again favor tight end Travis Kelce as his top target, but the competition for second in the pecking order will be fierce. While Toney and Moore are the best bets to emerge here, with Marquez Valdes-Scantling also potentially in play, Rice cannot be ruled out as a contender over time. His development as a downfield threat at SMU will make him a good fit with Mahomes and the Chiefs.

For 1QB rookie drafts, Rice should be viewed as a mid-second-round pick, with a slight bump downwards to the late second in Superflex leagues. In redraft formats, Rice is likely best left undrafted outside of deep leagues, but he could be a key waiver-wire addition down the line.

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