(C)Brett Veach Pulls Back the Curtain of How the Chiefs Drafted 21-Year-Old Phenom Patrick Mahomes

When it comes to drafting top quarterback prospects, most teams want them to hit the ground running. But the Kansas City Chiefs took a different route with Patrick Mahomes. Selected as the 10th overall pick, Mahomes had to bide his time as Alex Smith’s backup in his rookie season. Recently, Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach spilled the beans on Mahomes’ draft dynamics during his appearance on “Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour” podcast.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ transition from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes was remarkably smooth, credited in part to Smith’s contract nearing its end. This allowed Mahomes to step in, learn from a Pro Bowl quarterback, and kickstart his journey as a starter. Brett Veach shared insights into how the Chiefs became enamored with Mahomes during this period:

The one thing that coach (Reid) and I believed in was bringing Pat in here and allowing him to just process defenses and coverages and tendencies and how to master the pass protection and where you’re going to shift your line and where you’re going to send your running backs to pick up different blitz packages.”

Veach even highlighted the disparity between college and NFL games and how the complexity of NFL offenses compared to the more simplified strategies at the collegiate level. They wanted Patrick Mahomes to gradually adapt to navigating intricate plays for success.

The Chiefs were cautious not to rush Mahomes into the NFL unprepared, knowing the high stakes and pressure. Drafting and playing an unprepared rookie could have jeopardized both his confidence and the team’s success path. However, Brett Veach also reflected on potential regrets about passing on certain players in the NFL draft.

Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach’s Biggest Drafting Regret

Brett Veach faced quite the heat for his 2019 NFL draft decisions. They traded up for WR Mecole Hardman amid uncertainty over Tyreek Hill’s off-field situation while passing on Ole Miss’ wide receiver DK Metcalf. It was Metcalf’s success later on that raised questions about their choice. He became a symbol of what could’ve been as he had over twice Hardman’s stats.

The Chiefs’ decision showcased the complexities of drafting, balancing talents, off-field issues, and team needs. Here is what Brett Veach had to say:

“DK Metcalf might be a guy that stands out just because of the limited pass tree, I think there were some injury concerns,” Brett added, “Sometimes, you don’t take guys and fans do the mock drafts and they go through it, and they’re like, ‘Well, we should have taken this guy or that guy.’ But at the time, a player could have been off your board because you had character concerns or an injury concern,

Veach admitted that Metcalf’s neck injury likely influenced their draft decision. Moreover, learning from the experience, the franchise recognized the importance of thorough evaluation in the drafting process.

Adding DK Metcalf to the Chiefs roster in 2019 could have been a game-changer. However, dwelling on regrets isn’t productive. The Chiefs have much to celebrate, like drafting Patrick Mahomes, who’s led them to three Super Bowls and earned three NFL MVP awards.

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