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Patrick Mahomes primed to break out in year two, according to ESPN

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes popped up on a list crafted by ESPN analyst Matt Bowen Monday morning. Bowen wrote about 10 NFL rookies primed to break out in year two.

Mahomes was on the list in the significant jump section along with Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, Bengals running back Joe Mixon, Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley and Titans wide receiver Corey Davis.

“When free agency opened, the Chiefs surprisingly paid a premium price to land wide receiver Sammy Watkins,” wrote Bowen. “But when we look at the Kansas City offensive system under coach Andy Reid, Watkins is yet another weapon — in an offense loaded at the skill positions — to build around Mahomes. And the young quarterback brings the big-time arm, the ability to make off-schedule plays and the movement skills that mesh with Reid’s playcalling.”

Bowen wasn’t the only notable writer to discuss Mahomes Monday.

So too did Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column. Mahomes and the Chiefs were on the wrong side of King’s stat of the week.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Chiefs sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes, with the departure of the reliable Alex Smith in trade and the signing of projected Kansas City backup quarterbacks Chad Henne and Matt McGloin,” wrote King.

“In the last four seasons, Henne and McGloin have combined to start four games. Their record in those games: 0-4.

“The only quarterback on the Chiefs roster to have won an NFL game in the last four years is Mahomes. He has won one.”

While King is no doubt right—I felt a lot better when the Chiefs had Alex Smith and Nick Foles and later Smith and Mahomes—I can’t say that I feel Mahomes is feeling any added pressure as a result of the situation.

The coaching staff has raved about all aspects of Mahomes from his on-the-field play to his work ethic to his cool and calm personality. It may be easy to forget, but we’ve also already seen Mahomes throw a bad interception (last year in his only start), and he was largely unaffected, finishing the game 22 of 35 for 284 yards and a game-winning drive.

Reid spoke to Mahomes’ preparedness last week in Orlando. He did not sound nervous.

“I think what you will see is he’ll be more familiar then what he was because he’s constantly studying, coach or no coach,” Reid said. “He’s going to be going back through all the tape, that’s just how he is, through all the calls. So I’d expect to hit the ground running. It’s not one of these situations where you’re going to have to back up and go, okay he’s a rookie and you got to start from scratch. That’s not where you’re at with him.”

No one will know for sure until Mahomes gets the first few games under his belt, but all signs right now point to a player with skill well beyond his years.

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