A year ago, Patrick Mahomes was not a household name. He was not one of the top NFL quarterback prospects, and he was certainly not a projected first-round pick. But on Thursday, he was all of those things.
Mahomes was drafted tenth overall by Kansas City.
And Chris Simms couldn’t have been happier.
“Listen, the first guy I ever did a video on before the Combine was Patrick Mahomes – and I got a lot of flak, too,” the Bleacher Report NFL insider and NFL Draft analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s funny. I had NFL front offices going, ‘Patrick Mahomes? You really think he could be the best quarterback in the Draft?’”
Yes, Simms did. That’s what happens when a guy throws for nearly 10,000 yards and accounts for 99 touchdowns (77 passing, 22 rushing) in two seasons.
“Patrick Mahomes, to me, everything you’re concerned about is only Texas Tech,” Simms said. “This is not a system quarterback from Texas Tech. He made the system. He is special, this kid, in my eyes. He’s the best arm we’ve seen in the Draft since a Cam Newton or an Aaron Rodgers. He can sling it everywhere from any which angle. He can create plays with his legs. I really look at him and go, ‘He could be Aaron Rodgers (or) Brett Favre-esque.’ It doesn’t matter what offense you put him in. The kid can play. He’s a good kid, we know that. He’s going to work hard. Everybody says that to me as well around the NFL. He’s just going to have a little bit of a learning curve because of that offense in Texas Tech. But it’s not a big deal anymore. This is what we’re going to talk about with every quarterback every year. I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about Patrick Mahomes and the Texas Tech offense. But it was okay last year for Jared Goff in the same offense to be No. 1.”
Goff, to be fair, struggled mightily as a rookie, completing 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games.
But Simms sees a bonafide NFL star in Mahomes.
“(The Chiefs) were my draft winner,” Simms said. “You really break down the Chiefs and you look at the roster and you go, ‘Man, they don’t really need much. They really don’t need anything.’ It was hard to find what kind of player would fit on their roster other than a middle linebacker. I think if they stayed put, maybe a Reuben Foster would have been in play because they certainly could use a little help at that position. But other than that, they’re a Super Bowl team for me. Really, if they had a quarterback that could just make some routine, consistent, down-the-field throws, they might have been in the Super Bowl last year – or at least in the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.”
Instead, the Chiefs, who won 10 of their final 12 regular-season games, lost 18-16 to Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.
“There were people wide open all game long in that divisional game against the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Simms said. “Alex Smith, he’s a smart guy, but he’s a game manager. He just does not make enough plays down the field (or) intermediate passes with his arm, I think, to take a team to the next level and move them into the Super Bowl or a championship game.”