The Kansas City Chiefs swung a big trade to move up to the No. 10 selection to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the first round of Thursday night’s NFL draft.
The Chiefs gave up a first-round pick next season and a third-round selection this year in their deal with the Bills, who moved back to the No. 27 overall spot in the first round.
Mahomes now looms as a potential replacement for Alex Smith, though it’s unclear when he would take over for the veteran. Kansas City has not used a first-round pick on a quarterback since it took Todd Blackledge in 1983.
Right now Patrick is not absolutely ready to play,” Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. “He’s got some work to do. We have to be patient with him. He’s definitely not a finished product right now.
“But he has tremendous upside. We think he’ll fit into this offense very well. He’s a good person. He’s intelligent. He’s got great skill. I just think he’ll be a great Kansas City Chief when it’s all said and done.”
The Chiefs can afford to give Mahomes time to develop. Starter Alex Smith, who turns 33 next month, has two seasons remaining on his contract.
But the Chiefs could release or trade Smith before the 2018 season with minimal financial penalty. He would cost the Chiefs $3.6 million against their salary cap if they moved him before next season.
The Chiefs have not had much luck with quarterbacks in the draft.
The last one they selected in any round to eventually win a game for the team was Blackledge. The Chiefs have taken 22 QBs in the common draft era, and the only one to make it to a Pro Bowl was Mike Livingston (drafted in 1968; Pro Bowler in 1969).
Mahomes will try to right that ship.
Once viewed as an outsider among the draft’s top group of quarterbacks, Mahomes ended up being the second player drafted at his position. North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky was selected with the No. 2 picks after the Bears moved up one spot.
Mahomes, whose father Pat was a MLB pitcher for 11 years, drew praise at Texas Tech for his playmaking ability and arm strength after racked up gaudy stats, leading FBS with 5,052 passing yards. He joined current Titans QB Marcus Mariota (2014 Oregon) as the only players from a major conference in FBS history to throw 40 touchdown passes and rush for 10 touchdowns in the same season.
Mahomes had the most completions from outside the pocket (55) and under duress (59) among Power 5 QBs last season. He completed 46.2 percent of his passes thrown at least 10 yards downfield in 2016 and his 313 scramble yards ranked second in the Big 12. But concerns lingered about how he would translate to a pro-style offense after playing in Red Raiders’ freewheeling attack.