Flashback to the year 2017, seems like a lifetime ago by now. The Kansas City Chiefs enter draft night after another heartbreaking playoff loss just months prior and are looking to shake things up. One man by the name Patrick Mahomes II, after the first nine picks, is still on the board.
The former general manager, John Dorsey, makes the bold move to jump up in the draft from the 27th pick and take Mahomes with the 10th pick. From then on, the rest is history in KC, and with a Super Bowl title and two straight AFC titles under Mahomes belt, I would say that move changed the franchise for the better.
It is no question that Patrick Mahomes II is the best quarterback in football and has changed the tide of the AFC to essentially run through Kansas City. With Mahomes being such a pivotal piece of the Chief’s success in recent seasons, it is fun to imagine this…what if the Chiefs NEVER drafted Mahomes…chilling, right?
There are only a few directions I feel the NFL would have gone if Mahomes didn’t land in KC. To be clear, all of these alternate universe options are based on how well he has played to this point in his career, so he would be the number one quarterback on the board. Let’s check it out.
Path #1- Mahomes goes to the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick in the draft
This one might be the scariest path for Chiefs fans considering the Browns in today’s NFL are heavy competitors against the Mahomes-led Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes going to Cleveland would be the equivalent of when LeBron was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003.
If the Browns somehow managed to still bring in the defensive weapons they have, minus Myles Garrett due to not drafting him, and still bring in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Cleveland would have another Super Bowl by now, maybe even two.
The one thing that the Chiefs have lacked in the Mahomes era so far has been a dominant defense. In Cleveland, keeping Mahomes happy on offense while also having a stout defense would have been the perfect situation for him right out of the draft versus a few years later.
This path makes the most sense considering that if you had a do-over of the 2017 draft, Patrick Mahomes would be rocking a Cleveland hat and shaking Rodger Goodell’s hand as the number one overall pick instead of the 10th pick from a video feed at home.
Path #2- Mahomes goes to the Chicago Bears with the second overall pick in the draft
This path is less scary for Chiefs fans because Mahomes would be in the opposite conference unless they would meet in the Super Bowl. This path is also one that has been talked about more than probably any other because Chicago took Mitch Trubisky, and a quarterback move made the most sense in Chicago.
Mahomes dominating the NFC would be fun to watch, especially because he would have to play Aaron Rodgers twice a year. I fully believe Mahomes has the talent that he would have taken the Bears far into the playoffs as they do feature a solid defense even before the 2017 draft.
The Mahomes to Allen Robinson connection would be a weekly attraction and make the NFC North a fun division overall. It was a discussion on draft night that this path could have happened, but no one could have predicted the amount of impact Mahomes has had this early in his career. Chicago missed out on a golden goose egg at the quarterback position.
Path #3- Buffalo Bills keep #10 pick instead of trading to Kansas City and pick Mahomes
This path might be my hottest take out of them all in this alternate football universe. Imagine a Bills team that has Mahomes at quarterback instead of Josh Allen; that would be fun, right? Maybe the Bills still find a way to bring in Stefon Diggs from Minnesota and John Brown from Baltimore to keep that part of the timeline the same. The quarterback-wide receiver trio of Mahomes, Diggs, and Brown sounds like a Madden team that shouldn’t be possible, but then again, the modern-day Chiefs lineup is pretty unstoppable as well.
When Buffalo drafted Josh Allen, it took them a few years to get competitive again in the AFC East. Maybe just maybe, Mahomes gets them over the hill one year faster, and the Bills are back in a Super Bowl for the first time since the mid-’90s. This path is the most unlikely because the Bills in the real world drafted star cornerback Tre’Davious White with the pick swap from the Chiefs, and the Chiefs got Mahomes, so it worked out for both sides.
Nevertheless, this path is fun to think about and how much it would have changed the NFL all because one draft night trade does not go through.
The alternate football universe where Mahomes is not a Chief is a fun topic to think about unless you are a Kansas City fan because then the reality would probably mean no Super Bowl in 2019. Regardless, this alternate universe is far far away in a distant land, so no need to worry Kansas City, Mahomes is here to stay. Here to stay for ten years, $450 million to be exact.
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