Did the San Francisco 49ers seriously consider selecting Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?
Head coach Kyle Shanahan talked about the pre-draft process in his first year with the 49ers. He did not look into Mahomes before San Francisco ultimately traded down from the second selection to pick up defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the third pick.
Why? The imminent presence of then-Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who Shanahan worked with in D.C., on the free-agent market the following year.
“I didn’t look into him as much as I should have. We definitely looked into him, studied all his tape. Was just a freak, could make any throw. Had the ability to do anything. It was a little bit situation for us. We had the second pick in the draft. Did not feel like from all the intel you get and stuff that he was going to go that high. And it was a little different situation for us because, I think it’s pretty well documented of just the relationship I had with Kirk being in Washington and everything,” Shanahan said from Super Bowl LIV on Tuesday. “I felt very confident that he wasn’t going to stay there. When you go into a season knowing that a franchise quarterback is going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at.”
Now that’s some rather interesting stuff. As you already know, San Francisco acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots months after the 2017 NFL Draft. Cousins ended up signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
As for Mahomes, he’s the reigning NFL MVP and is one win away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Shanahan, Garoppolo and the 49ers stand in his way.
The trickle-down effect here is something else. Imagine if the Pats had heeded Bill Belichick’s advice and decided not to trade Garoppolo. Would Cousins be on the 49ers?
If so, would they be playing in Super Bowl LIV? If not, would Tom Brady soon find his way to the team he grew up rooting for?
So many possibilities.