The Chiefs Needed a Massive Seal of Approval Before Making a Controversial Franchise-Altering Draft Pick

Nowadays, the Kansas City Chiefs trading up and drafting Patrick Mahomes is viewed as one of the best decisions in NFL history.

A draft-day move resulted in Kansas City acquiring their future quarterback, subsequently leading to a Super Bowl win in 2019. Mahomes is arguably the best QB in the NFL at the moment and was rewarded with a $503 million extension last year. It’s safe to say the selection worked out for everyone involved.

However, the decision to trade up and grab Mahomes wasn’t as simple as the Chiefs like to make it seem. In fact, the team’s front office needed a pretty important seal of approval before pulling the trigger.

The Chiefs had to trade up for Mahomes

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes during their
Patrick Mahomes | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Despite already having veteran QB Alex Smith on the roster heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chiefs were eyeing up a move for a new quarterback near the top of the class. The 2017 quarterback class was supposed to be a good one, highlighted by Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and Mahomes.

The only problem with the Chiefs’ desire for a new franchise arm is that they began the night selecting No. 27 overall. Moving into the top five was out of the question, and moving up into the top 10 would cost a hefty price.

The Chiefs’ front office figured a deal with the Buffalo Bills at No. 10 made the most sense considering the Bills’ willingness to trade down that year. Kansas City also identified the New Orleans Saints (No. 11 overall) and New York Giants (No. 12 overall) as rival teams interested in Mahomes. They needed to leapfrog them if they wanted a shot at Mahomes.

The Chiefs’ front office and coaching staff were in full agreement. The only hurdle? They needed approval from the team’s owner.

The Chiefs needed ownership-level approval before pulling the trigger on the trade-up

Before the Chiefs could move from pick No. 27 to pick No. 10, they first had to get approval from the most important man in the organization.

They had to get approval from the owner.

The Chiefs have a procedure where any trade involving a first-round pick has to be signed off on by the owner. In this particular scenario, owner Clark Hunt was eager to oblige.

“It’s not a decision that I took lightly,” Hunt said. “But with all things considered, it was not a hard decision. The chance to get a quarterback who can be a franchise quarterback for the Chiefs in the future made it a pretty easy decision.”

Adam Teicher, ESPN

Patrick Mahomes is now the face of the franchise

The final trade-up for Mahomes ended up costing the Chiefs quite a bit from a value perspective. They gave up their 2017 first-round pick, a 2017 third-round pick, and a 2018 first-round pick. However, it’s safe to say the Chiefs are pretty happy with their investment.

Not only did Mahomes win an MVP and a Super Bowl, but he’s positioned to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback for the next decade-plus. He’s the definition of a franchise QB in today’s NFL.

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