The Chiefs took a big gamble by trading up for Patrick Mahomes, and now it looks like a steal

  • The Kansas City Chiefs took a gamble by trading two draft picks to move up in the 2017 draft to select Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick.
  • In just five starts, four of which have come this year, Mahomes has lit it up, throwing 14 touchdowns and 0 interceptions while leading the Chiefs to a 4-0 record this season.
  • Mahomes has a unique blend of arm strength, athleticism, and accuracy, and his talent has made the future in Kansas City look promising.

In a league rife with young, promising quarterbacks, perhaps no one has impressed as much as 23-year-old Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

Through four games, the Chiefs are one of the NFL’s two undefeated teams, having pulled off a come-from-behind victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday, led by Mahomes.

Through five career stars, Mahomes has the look of a franchise quarterback. In 2018 alone, Mahomes has thrown for 1,200 yards, 14 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and completed 65% of his passes while posting a 126.5 passer rating.

Few could have seen this coming from Mahomes – except for maybe the Chiefs.

The Chiefs took a gamble by drafting Mahomes in the 2017 draft. The consensus among experts varied, with most believing Mitch Trubisky was the top prospect, with either Mahomes or DeShaun Watson second. The Chiefs ultimately moved up from the 27th pick in the draft, trading a third-rounder and 2018 first-rounder to the Buffalo Bills to take Mahomes with the 10th pick.

As Yahoo’s Terez Paylor detailed this year, the Chiefs were enamoured with Mahomes in the lead-up to the draft, with Brett Veach, a Chiefs scout, contacting Mahomes’ agent daily to ask about him. Both parties had to keep the interest a secret to make sure other teams didn’t drive up the price for the Chiefs to move up in the draft.

Veach told reporters this year that Mahomes was one of the most impressive college quarterbacks he’d ever seen.

“I don’t know if people thought I meant pro or college, but I meant it in regard to all the college quarterbacks that I’ve watched over the years. He’s probably the best one I’ve ever seen, and I’m certainly standing by that,” Veach said. “Some of the stuff he can do – his tremendous vision, his toughness in the pocket, instincts and that rare arm strength – I mean, he can do things I haven’t seen before on tape.”

Last year, Mahomes sat behind Alex Smith, who posted one of the best seasons of his career. In the offseason, the Chiefs made the surprising decision to move Smith to the Washington Redskins, officially making Mahomes their guy. So far, he has not disappointed.

Mahomes best traits upon entering the NFL were his athleticism, arm strength, accuracy, and vision. He has shown all of that this season in stunning fashion.

It helps that Mahomes works under an offensive guru like Andy Reid and has weapons like the versatile Kareem Hunt, speedster Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce, maybe the closest tight end to Gronk. But this season, Mahomes has already shown that he has the unique ability to make plays happen just because of his talent.

Does this throw not have shades of young Michael Vick?

Mahomes also can stand in the pocket and put the ball where only his teammates can get it.

In Week 4, Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field for a go-ahead touchdown drive, making several plays that wowed the NFL world.

First, there was this nifty, left-handed pass to get the ball out before he got sacked, resulting in huge first down.

Then, facing 2nd-and-30 after several penalties, Mahomes got a good chunk of that yardage back with an Aaron Rodgers-esque throw on the move.

Mahomes is entering rarified air in the NFL, where to avert your eyes is to risk missing a highlight-reel play.

It will be interesting to see how defences adjust to Mahomes. So far, the Chiefs have played good teams, but it hasn’t been a murderer’s row of defensive units – none of the Chiefs’ first four opponents rank in the top 15 in defensive DVOA.

Mahomes will inevitably throw an interception or make a lousy decision tossing the ball as he scrambles. Those things are to be expected from a first-time starter with fewer than 16 games under his belt.

The Chiefs, of course, hope to stay in the playoff race and perhaps even ride Mahomes to a division title. We’ll see how the rest of the year plays out, but if the first quarter of this season is any indication, the future is bright for Kansas City.

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