From the FanPosts -Joel
My wife and I bought our first house last year. The market was crazy and to find one within our budget, we had to purchase a home in need of a few updates. We found one with a solid structure and relatively new HVAC, roof, windows, etc. We got the house at a fair price relative to the market and put our blood, sweat and tears into updating the kitchen and bathroom. It took a little time to fix things before we moved in, but we're very happy with how our home looks now. If we had tried to buy a home with those updates already done, we wouldn't be able to afford it. The sweat equity paid off.
Every media outlet has noted the strength of the 2018 NFL Draft quarterback class. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen are being talked about as having the upside to be the top three picks in next year's class. There's a few other less known prospects who could push their way up the boards as well (Luke Falk, Jarrett Stidham, Lamar Jackson to name a few). We hear a similar story every year, and sometimes it plays out the way it's anticipated. If you've watched those three primary prospects, it's undeniable they have the potential to be starting NFL quarterbacks. While there's still a full season to evaluate (and pick apart) the potential signal callers for next year, the glut of talent at that position may make you wonder why the Chiefs aggressively pursued their quarterback of the future a year in advance of a touted class.
While some may be critical of trading up in a perceived weak quarterback class, I actually believe it was a smart move even before we see Mahomes play a full season.
Let's say the majority deems two of the three QB prospects discussed next year being selected in the early to mid first round. The same way Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes were considered reaches at 10 and 12, mid first round quarterbacks often wind up in the top 5. For quarterbacks, the market is just different. If it's believed you can start in this league, teams will make aggressive moves to acquire you above the slot most may value you at. That's why the likes of Christian Ponder and EJ Manuel found themselves taken in the first round. In a re-draft of his draft class, Andy Dalton would likely be a top 5-10 pick even though he's at best league average.
The knock on Mahomes going into the draft had nothing do with his talent, but the rawness of it. It will take major adjustments to his game to properly translate it to the NFL. He's going to need time, a gift not often awarded to first round picks. A true junior coming out, he is three years removed from his high school graduation. He's young for a prospect, and could have potentially increased his value if he returned his senior season.
Ask yourself this question: If Mahomes was more refined as a prospect and was experienced in a pro-style system, where would he have been drafted this year? If the question marks about his translation to the league were lessened by him being a more seasoned prospect, would he be selected ahead of Mitch Trubisky? I think so.
A more refined version of Mahomes would likely be clustered into the same group as the top 3 quarterbacks for 2018. If Mahomes had played in a pro-style system his senior year in college, people would be fawning over the potential and less worried the risk involved with him. Josh Allen had a 5 interception game last season, but the physical traits he possesses still has people lining up to take him. Mahomes' ceiling is near or at the same levels as the top names in 2018.
In 2016, the Rams traded their 2016 and 2017 first round picks, two 2016 second round picks and 2016 and 2017 third round picks to move 14 spots to draft Jared Goff. That same year, the Eagles traded their 2016 and 2017 first round picks, 2016 third and fourth round pick and a 2018 second round pick to move up six spots to acquire Carson Wentz and a 4th round pick.
Needy teams do crazy things to acquire a quarterback. The hype surrounding 2016 quarterbacks pales in comparison to what we see for the 2018 class. By going a year ahead of the market, the Chiefs very well could have got their future quarterback at a discount. They are in a unique position where they have the time and know how to develop a raw talent. They are banking on that to reap the rewards.
If Mahomes shows promise in the preseason and improves over the course of the season, the Chiefs will have properly assessed the market and paid for their quarterback of the future at a reduced rate. They traded next year's first round pick and a third this year to move up from 27 to 10 in order to draft Mahomes. They have been in the back half of the first round every year of the Andy Reid era. It would be safe to assume that next year will be no different. What would the cost to take a more advanced Mahomes be if he was the number 5 pick in next year's draft?
Especially considering the list of teams that could be looking for a quarterback (For varying reasons: Bills, Jets, Steelers, Browns, Jaguars, Chargers, Redskins, Saints, Cardinals, Rams and 49ers). The cost to go from pick two to eight in 2016 was significantly more than what the Chiefs paid this year. Going from the 20's to the top 5 in a hotter market would cost a king's ransom.
The Chiefs are confident that the sweat equity they are putting into Mahomes this year is going to pay dividends next year and moving forward. They have to develop him to a point where his value would be higher than what it was in 2017. That's the reason they made the move they did. Mahomes will get a year of exposure to an NFL system and coaching staff and for the first time in his life be a full time student of the game. If Mahomes shows flashes in the preseason adjusting to the style and speed of the NFL, the Chiefs found an inefficiency in the QB market. He doesn't have to look like a finished product. He just has to show that the talent is there after an overhaul of his process and mechanics.
None of this even addresses the flexibility they now have to potentially trade Alex Smith before next year's draft. Blindly trading your starting quarterback without knowing his replacement is a risky proposition, especially if you are drafting later in the first round. Additionally they have more clarity on their cap situation for next season knowing Smith likely won't stay on their books be it by release or trade.
This doesn't mean that Mahomes will necessarily pan out. But the Chiefs used their situation to their advantage. Reid has a history of developing quarterbacks, their consistency winning games makes it difficult to anticipate a high draft pick and they have a year to develop him. It's as sounds a decision as they can make in acquiring their next quarterback.
The Chiefs found a sturdy Ma-home (Yes, the 's' was left off intentionally. Yes, that's a terrible pun.) at a great price. Andy's plenty experienced in remodeling. A few updates, and they got a steal. But please, if the work pays off, don't sell for at least 15 years.