Teams are not used to take a quarterback in the first round of an NFL draft unless they really need someone at the position. The Chiefs, however, have proven that sometimes it’s best to select one even if you are momentarily fine at the position.
When Kansas City selected Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft, Alex Smith was still at a great moment at the helm of the team. But he wasn’t getting any younger and the Chiefs anticipated that.
Mahomes would eventually take the reins and lead them to consecutive Super Bowls, winning a long-awaited title in 2020 before losing to the Bucs in 2021. According to Andy Reid, Smith deserves a lot of credit for his successor’s breakthrough.
Andy Reid believes Patrick Mahomes learned a lot from Alex Smith
“I told Alex, ‘Man go out and have the greatest year you’ve ever had and to you don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches,” Reid told Colin Cowherd, via the Kansas City Star. “You’re out there to go produce and win games and do the best you possibly can for your team.’ And so that’s the way we approached it with him. Now Alex by nature, though, was the greatest thing that ever happened to Patrick Mahomes.
“There are different ways to do this thing, whether you play the player right now or some behind a veteran player. Alex was perfect for that. Alex did let Patrick into his world without being forced on it or anything and he let Patrick in it. Patrick handled it the right way and didn’t step in the way of Alex as the Chiefs QB and what he needed to produce and had respect for him. So it worked out perfect. I didn’t have to say a whole lot other than, ‘You go play and go win games, let’s go win a championship. and do the best you possibly can do at the quarterback position.”
This is interesting, considering that Ryan Tannehill recently made a lot of enemies by claiming that it’s not his job to mentor Malik Willis. Even though Reid would understand it, he’s thankful that Smith thought otherwise.