KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs boldly moved up in the NFL draft on Thursday night to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick, giving them an heir apparent to veteran Alex Smith.
Kansas City sent its first-round picks this year and next year and one of two third-round picks in this year’s draft to Buffalo, climbing from the No. 27 pick to take the second QB off the board. North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky went to the Chicago Bears second overall, while Heisman Trophy winner Deshaun Watson of Clemson went to the Houston Texas at No. 12.
It’s the third time in the common draft era that Kansas City has taken a quarterback in the first round, and the first since Todd Blackledge in 1983. Mahomes is also the second QB to be taken in the first round by a Reid-coach team following Donovan McNabb with Philadelphia in 1999.
The Chiefs were in the market for a quarterback with Smith nearing the end of his career. The former No. 1 overall pick of the 49ers, Smith arrived in Kansas City with Reid and general manager John Dorsey four years ago. And he’s played well enough to lead the Chiefs to three playoff appearances, an AFC West title this past season and earn a $68 million, four-year contract extension that could keep him with the Chiefs through the 2018 season.
That timetable is important: It gives Mahomes at least one season and possibly two to learn Reid’s offense from a trusted veteran. And if Mahomes proves to be a quick study, Smith can be released after next season with a relatively minimal impact on the salary cap. Mahomes posted up eye-popping numbers in a pass-heavy offense geared to putting up points. He started 29 games over three seasons and became only the third player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with multiple seasons of 5,000 yards total offense.
He threw for 5,052 yards with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season.