Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes had yet another magnificent season opener on Sunday, completing 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Chiefs are 5-0 in Week 1 games with Mahomes, and head coach Andy Reid simply chalks his Week 1 success up to his quarterback being great.
It didn't take Mahomes long to establish himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and several teams were interested in acquiring the former Texas Tech signal-caller in the 2017 NFL Draft. In fact, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said during FOX's pregame show Sunday that the Saints were absolutely going to take Mahomes at No. 11 overall before the Chiefs traded up one spot ahead of them.
"When we evaluated him, he was clearly an elite player, the best quarterback I'd ever seen on college tape," Payton said.
Payton talked about how he made then-starting quarterback Drew Brees aware of the Saints' intentions in the draft room.
"This might happen -- it was gonna happen. And then it didn't happen."
Check out Payton's full story, here:
Former Saints HC @SeanPayton talks about an interesting situation from the 2017 NFL Draft, where the New Orleans Draft Room discussed taking QB Patrick Mahomes at pick No. 11. The Chiefs ended up taking Mahomes at pick No. 10. pic.twitter.com/Eo606bsURV— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 11, 2022
With Mahomes off the board, the Saints decided to take Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore. That also proved to be a great decision, as he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and made four Pro Bowls in five seasons.
It turns out that Mahomes was impressed with coach Payton through the draft process as well -- something he discussed back in 2020.
"That was the first thing you kind of see I mean, the way he talks to you, the way he coaches you can tell he truly cares about the guys he coaches and he wants to make them better," Mahomes said. "That day he wanted to get it out of me and see where I was at and also help me improve in every way possible. You can see how he coaches, I mean, obviously he's an offensive genius, but he also really is respected by his guys in his locker room.
"Then you could see how all the stuff he's done for years and years had success and then when you watch them on film, you can see all the different game plan plays that they have is as long as their base plays. They do a great job of executing and really getting the ball to their playmakers and I think it's very similar to what we do here and it's pretty cool to be able to go against another great coach like that."
Even so, Mahomes said that he didn't feel as though New Orleans would write his name on its draft card back in 2017.
"I didn't sense that they were going to pick me obviously with Drew (Brees) still being there and the success that he still has to this day and so at the same time I think they got a great player in Marshon Lattimore, so I'm sure they're still happy with that," Mahomes said. "It's just crazy how stuff works out that we're in this position that we are in now."