Bruce Arians on Skipping Mahomes, Reflects on Brady

NFL Legends Reflect on Pivotal 2017 Draft Moves

by Zain ul Abedin
Bruce Arians on Skipping Mahomes, Reflects on Brady
© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In a recent candid discussion with Peter King of NBC Sports, Bruce Arians, former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and the mastermind behind Tom Brady's final Super Bowl triumph, delved into the 2017 NFL Draft dynamics, particularly focusing on Patrick Mahomes.

Arians, 71, who guided Brady in his resounding victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, shed light on the missed opportunity to draft Mahomes, a decision that continues to echo in NFL circles. Back in 2017, Arians was at the helm of the Cardinals, holding the 13th overall pick.

In a draft maneuver that caught many by surprise, including Arians, Andy Reid and the Chiefs escalated their position, securing Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick. "I was stunned," Arians admitted, reflecting on the Chiefs' bold move.

He had anticipated Patrick Mahomes falling to the Cardinals, given the Chiefs' existing playoff-caliber team with Alex Smith as their quarterback.

Draft Day Decisions

This sentiment of 'what could have been' was not exclusive to Arians.

Sean Payton, the then-head coach of the New Orleans Saints, also harbored intentions to bring Patrick Mahomes to his team with the 11th pick. Instead, the Saints settled for Marshon Lattimore. Inside the Saints' draft room, Payton had recognized Mahomes' exceptional potential, labeling him as the "steal of the draft." Reid's strategic decision to move up to the 10th spot was a masterstroke.

Initially positioned at the 27th pick, the Chiefs understood Mahomes' value and ensured his acquisition by trading draft capital to the Buffalo Bills. This move fundamentally altered the landscape of the NFL, with Mahomes emerging as a three-time champion, reshaping the fortunes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

This revelation from Arians not only underscores the unpredictability and high stakes of NFL drafts but also highlights the profound impact of such decisions on the trajectories of teams and careers. As the NFL continues to evolve, these draft stories serve as intriguing footnotes in the rich tapestry of the league's history.