Frantic Five Minutes: Patrick Mahomes II Selected 10th Overall By Kansas City Chiefs
TYLER — Patrick Mahomes II jumped from passively watching the NFL Draft with the rest of football nation Thursday to being the center of the football world in just a matter of minutes.
It started when famed sports agent Leigh Steinberg, on Mahomes’ left, received a message and began frantically signaling the number 10 on his hands to the Mahomes family. Thirty seconds later, the cell phone in Mahomes’ hands started to buzz and flashed a Missouri number.
Four minutes after that, in Philadelphia at the site of the draft, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Kansas City Chiefs had traded up to take the former Whitehouse High School and Texas Tech quarterback 10th overall.
Mahomes is nearly an NFL signal-caller. All he has to do now is fly to Kansas City, accept the Chiefs’ playbook and elsewhere have Steinberg iron out a contract in the ballpark of $3 million per season plus a $10 million signing bonus.
“It is a relief,” Mahomes said among 200 friends and family members at the Lago del Pino restaurant in Tyler. “When you watch the NFL Draft as you grow up, you see the first round and you see those top picks. You want to be one of those guys, so you just set one of those goals to be picked high like that. This is awesome.”
Mahomes and his party celebrated for about 15 minutes before Steinberg — who was the real life inspiration for Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire” — brought him back to earth.
First, Steinberg needed to know whether the quarterback wanted to fly out of Tyler Pounds Field or Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to get to Kansas City. Secondly, SiriusXM was on the phone hoping to set up an immediate interview.
Mahomes, who had just completed his true junior season at Texas Tech, declared for the NFL Draft in January to mixed reviews. He became the single most intriguing quarterback in the 2017 draft field and rode the wave into Kansas City’s arms at a high price.
Not only will the Chiefs pay Mahomes handsomely, they sacrificed their first-round pick in the 2018 draft as well as one of two third-round picks in the current draft to the Buffalo Bills in order to move up. The Bills also got Kansas City’s 27th overall pick as part of the swap and selected LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White.
“This is a testimony to how well he did in scouting,” Steinberg said. “How hard he worked, how diligent he was working on his five and seven-step drop. It’s just interesting because people had him in their second group of quarterbacks for a long time. That’s why we have this draft process, and he was magnificent in every aspect. He worked exceptionally hard, and he benefitted from it.”
Mahomes was the second quarterback taken in the first round. He lost to second overall pick Mitchell Trubinsky from North Carolina, but he beat Deshaun Watson from Clemson and a hostile DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame.
Kizer, who was not selected in the first round, singled Mahomes out as someone he will outperform in the NFL leading up to the draft.
The reward for the East Texan is a partnership with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
Reid was Brett Favre’s first quarterbacks coach with the Green Bay Packers and, as a rookie head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, lobbied to draft Donovan McNabb and reaped the benefits of McNabb’s similarly legendary career.
Kansas City’s head man also seems to have gotten more year-over-year results out of former first overall pick Alex Smith, the Chiefs’ current starting quarterback, than the San Francisco 49ers ever could.
Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, a former star collegiate quarterback and a professional journeyman, was one of the people supporting Mahomes in Tyler.
Mahomes surpassed other Kingsbury proteges with the Chiefs’ selection. Kingsbury helped Johnny Manziel to a 22nd overall selection while offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and helped undrafted Case Keenum get into the NFL while serving under Kevin Sumlin at Houston.
“I really wanted him to land in Kansas City,” Kingsbury said of Mahomes. “Just knowing Andy Reid and knowing that they really liked him all year. The city, it just has so many positives to it. For it to all fall in place, the stars aligned. I couldn’t be happier for Pat.
“I’m a huge fan of (Reid’s). You look at the success he’s had with each quarterback, adapted to each one and adapted his offense to each player, it’s just phenomenal. To invest that much in Pat shows how much they like him. The sky is the limit with his talent and coach Reid’s intellect and offense.”
Mahomes led Whitehouse to a Class 4A Division II regional semifinal appearance as a senior. At Texas Tech, his best season came as a sophomore with a Texas Bowl berth.
Bigger things could be out there via Kansas City.
“Definitely, they believe in me,” Mahomes said. “They believe in what I can bring to the team and that I can help out the team. You always love that. I know they have a guy out there for right now, but I’m going to work hard and just be ready to go whenever the chance comes.”
Adam Cook + Kliff Kingsbury Have Something To Sell
While Patrick Mahomes II has left Whitehouse and Texas Tech behind, the two schools’ coaches are grateful the quarterback left them with an example to pitch to current and future players.
It’s been a while since Mahomes held a role at Whitehouse, but his selection Thursday will undoubtedly renew the buzz in the Wildcats’ locker room. There are other players that hope to reach the NFL.
“Video taped it and tried to take as much of it in as I could so you can show this to other kids,” Whitehouse coach Adam Cook said. “I was in the locker room just today talking to the younger kids in their locker rooms — about how Patrick has been in this one and going on into the next one — all the way up to the varsity. ‘Guys, you need to tune in. These are your guys.’
“Just with my camera, trying to take all of this in, you see all of the other guys that played right there behind him. It happened fast and just the excitement in his face. You could feel the outpour of love. It was just a great thing.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has to deal with recruiting. Mahomes’ selection gives him more ammunition.
“I think it’s great for recruits, but I also think it’s great for our current players,” Kingsbury said. “‘Hey, you can get there from here.’ Recruits see that if you come out to Lubbock that you can go top 10. That’s important to know. Just because we’re out there in the country a little ways, it doesn’t mean that you cannot accomplish your dreams.”
We went live right before he got the call. Check it out!