We know how one decision and one draft pick can change the entire landscape of the National Football League. The New England Patriots’ decision to select eventual six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in the sixth round of the NFL Draft some two decades ago is the most-notable example of this.
However, something that happened (or didn’t happen) three years ago could have wide-ranging ramifications on the future of the NFL.
Back in 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs moved up to the 10th selection with the Buffalo Bills to land strong-armed quarterback prospect Patrick Mahomes.
Seen as somewhat of a project at the time, the Texas Tech product took over the NFL after sitting for the vast majority of his rookie season. Mahomes is coming off a record-breaking two-year run with the Chiefs that culminated in him earning MVP honors and leading Kansas City to a comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
But what if another team was able to jump Kansas City for the ability to draft Mahomes? NFL insider Matt Miller from Bleacher Report detailed this recently. He noted that the Houston Texans had Mahomes as the top quarterback on their board leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Houston was unable to move up for Mahomes. Instead, the team settled on a trade up with the Cleveland Browns for Deshaun Watson.
This is something else right here. The fortune of two franchises changing on a dime. Two young quarterbacks who entered the NFL the same year doing battle as conference rivals.
It’s not that Watson has proven to be a bust. Quite the opposite. He, too, is coming off a tremendous 2019 season that culminated in a playoff loss to Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Though, the optics are different when it comes to these two quarterbacks and their current teams.
Mahomes enjoys a great relationship with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. All the while, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien has been on the receiving end of a ton of criticism in recent months. That includes at least one former Texans player.
As Mahomes aims for a record-breaking contract at some point this offseason, rumors continue to persist that Watson is not happy in Texas and could be dealt.
Just imagine how different things would have turned out if Houston was able to jump Kansas City and get Mahomes with the ninth pick.