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‘A risky pick.’ Revisiting draft grades Chiefs received for selecting Patrick Mahomes

Every one of Patrick Mahomes 50 touchdown passes in 2018

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has taken the NFL by storm in his first year as a starter, and his numbers back it up. Here is every one of his touchdown passes so far this season. Music from KillerTracks.
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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has taken the NFL by storm in his first year as a starter, and his numbers back it up. Here is every one of his touchdown passes so far this season. Music from KillerTracks.

Hindsight is 20-20, of course, but whew, did some people whiff on the 2017 NFL draft analysis.

The Chiefs traded up to No. 10 overall and took quarterback Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech. Quite a few of the “experts” thought Kansas City had made a mistake.

Chiefs fans can laugh about it now, because Mahomes is an All-Pro Quarterback who threw 50 touchdown passes this season, but here’s a look back at some of those draft grades (I threw in some positive ones, too) and what people said on Twitter:

Steven Ruiz of USA Today gave the Chiefs a C-minus for picking Mahomes. He wrote: “Calling Mahomes a project is a major understatement. He’s nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. And, honestly, he may never be. Between his inconsistent accuracy due to poor mechanics, his tendency to bail from clean pockets and his lack of field vision, he’s going to leave as many big plays on the field as he creates. This was a risky pick.”

The Chiefs got a B-plus for picking Mahomes from NFL.com’s Chad Reuter. He wrote: “ Patrick Mahomes has all of the tools to be a great quarterback. Chiefs GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid saw Brett Favre in Green Bay, and they have to see some of that gunslinger attitude in Mahomes. There is a risk factor here given his penchant for throwing the ball anywhere and from any arm angle (which will turn into interceptions in the NFL), and they have up a future first-round pick to get him. But if anyone can get Mahomes to adjust and succeed, it’s Reid.”

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wasn’t sold:

Dan Kadar of SB Nation gave the Chiefs a C. He wrote: “My grade on what Kansas City did in this draft is due to my opinion that they gave up way too much to trade up for quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the first round. Again, if he works out, I look dumb and it doesn’t matter. But to give up pick Nos. 27 and 91 this year and a first-round pick in 2018 is a lot.”

George Schroeder of USA Today wondered why Deshaun Watson didn’t get the call:

The Chiefs got a C-minus from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. He wrote: “Trading up for Mahomes, a big-armed gunslinger who really doesn’t mesh with the true mentality as Alex Smith’s successor, set up a bad tone in this draft.”

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gave the Chiefs a B. His comment: “I think Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be the best quarterback in this class, so from a talent standpoint making the move up in the first round to get him makes sense.”

Nick Wright of Fox Sports had wanted the Chiefs to select Watson:

Mel Kiper of ESPN gave the Chiefs a C-plus. He wrote: “(T)his class will hinge on Patrick Mahomes because Kansas City bet big that he’s the successor to Alex Smith. Giving up a third-round pick and next year’s first to move up 17 spots was a ton for a team with immediate needs elsewhere and some defenders getting up there in age. Mahomes has a high ceiling, but he’s going to have to learn how NFL offenses are run, and the Chiefs are going to have to rebuild his mechanics from the ground up. Andy Reid and John Dorsey know what they’re getting (and know what they’re doing) and see some Brett Favre in Mahomes. And they have a capable quarterback in Alex Smith signed until 2019. This is a pick — and grade — that could look like great or silly in five or six years.”

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From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.

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