Through his first three years in the league, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has risen to stardom in the NFL. He has become the centerpiece with the Chiefs that has led the team to a tremendous amount of success. However, it was a learning process that Mahomes had the luxury of being able to learn from one teammate that had helped shape his career on and off the field before he had the chance of being a starting quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes’ path in the NFL
It has been an interesting path that Mahomes has taken in his brief time in the NFL. That began with the Chiefs taking the chance by moving up seven spots to the 10th overall pick to select him in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Although that move signaled how enamored the team was with him from the get-go, Mahomes had to sit his first year essentially behind Pro Bowl Alex Smith, who was in his fifth year as the starter for the franchise. Smith’s time with the franchise was cut short as he was traded from Kansas City to the Washington Redskins following the 2017 season.
That opened the door to Mahomes grabbing ahold of the starting job, which has taken off with over the last two seasons. He earned the MVP award in his first campaign that saw him become just the third quarterback to pass for 50 touchdown pass.
Injuries hampered him in this season, but he has been the guiding force that pushed the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl in half a century. It made him the youngest quarterback to both win an MVP and reach the Super Bowl. All of that encapsulates what’s been a seamless transition, but one that came about due to Mahomes receiving invaluable guidance from one teammate.
1 teammate’s invaluable impact on Patrick Mahomes
When Mahomes was taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it had immediately put him on the route of possibly one day being the team’s future at the quarterback position. However, the Chiefs still had Smith, who had been the team’s starter for several years.
There may have been some change in the team’s stance on Smith, but it didn’t stop him from taking Mahomes under his wing during their time together. That’s something that head coach Andy Reid has played a significant part in shaping the player and person the 24-year-old has become on and off the field, according to Julie Donaldson of NBC Sports Washington.
“How to study, diet, his workout regimen, and how to get family acclimated into the NFL,” Reid said, even joking that “Pat couldn’t pay Alex enough for what he taught him.”
It’s quite a rare sight to see a starting quarterback truly embrace their eventual successor in that manner. That’s something that comes with swallowing his pride for the betterment of the franchise while giving priceless advice and teaching.
There are many instances such as Brett Favre with Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger with Mason Rudolph, where the starting quarterback doesn’t extend that help. Mahomes had the luxury of working with an understanding and thoughtful teammate despite their competition at the position. That’s not common, especially at the quarterback spot, which comes down to Smith simply paying it forward with taking him under his wing.
Patrick Mahomes’ bright future ahead
It may have been a unique situation, but it wound up being the right decision for the Chiefs as Mahomes is the long-term future for the franchise.
He has taken the team to the next level, which he has the opportunity to further engrain himself as potentially the best quarterback in the league and new face of the NFL. There is a tremendously bright future ahead for him and Kansas City.
Beyond that, it was a process that Mahomes was able to reach behind some indispensable lessons on and off the field from Smith that have helped guide him to what he has become.