Of all the teams he could have gone to, how did Patrick Mahomes become a Chief? Teammate Travis Kelce sought to answer that very question during Thursday’s episode of New Heights, a weekly podcast cohosted by Kelce and his brother Jason of the Philadelphia Eagles. Appearing as a guest, Mahomes admitted he got plenty of help along the way from offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, who told him ahead of time what plays would be called at his pre-draft workout the following day.
“I’m going to give you all the inside scoop,” said Mahomes, now able to speak freely on the circumstances that led him to joining the Chiefs as a first-round pick in 2017. “Matt Nagy, who was the offensive coordinator then, he really liked me, so he gave me the plays they were going to go over the night before.”
Mahomes, who led all of FBS with 5,052 passing yards his junior season at Texas Tech, predictably aced his workout, making a believer out of coach Andy Reid. “Of course, I crushed the meeting,” said Mahomes in wry amusement at the gambit he was running with Nagy behind the scenes, all without coach Reid’s knowledge. “I stayed up all night studying those plays.”
It was at that moment the Chiefs knew they had their franchise quarterback. Sensing his stock rising, Mahomes encouraged the Chiefs to trade up for him, warning that, based on conversations he’d had with other interested teams, he wouldn’t make it back to them at 27.
“As the process went on, I got a feeling that I was kind of going up in the draft. I had a couple teams that said they were going to draft me,” said Mahomes, who finds himself in the driver’s seat for what would be his second MVP award, leading the league in both passing yards (3,585) and touchdowns (29). “I kind of gave a little inside info to the Chiefs. I was like, ‘Hey if y’all let me go 12 or below, I’m going to get drafted by someone else.’”
The Chiefs would ultimately trade up to No. 10, swapping first-round picks with Buffalo in order to make Mahomes the second quarterback drafted that year behind UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky. The rest is history with Mahomes, after successfully conspiring with Nagy to game the system, landing his dream job in Kansas City, where the 27-year-old has become an institution, as revered and culturally significant as burnt ends from Joe’s Barbecue.