clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Patrick Mahomes and four other quarterbacks who could have been baseball stars

These five quarterbacks traded MLB strikeouts for NFL passing touchdowns.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Before Patrick Mahomes was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 10th pick of the 2017 NFL draft, he had already been a draft pick.

In the 2014 MLB draft, the Detroit Tigers selected Mahomes — then just 18 — in the 37th round (1120th overall) as a right-handed pitcher out of high school.

Mahomes’ father, Pat I, had an 11-year career as an MLB pitcher. This background — along with the cannon attached to his son’s right shoulder — made the boy a high-risk pick, but one with a high ceiling for potential.

Mahomes, however, had different plans.

He was set on hanging up his glove to pursue a college football career as a quarterback at Texas Tech. And seeing how things are looking right now for the 22-year-old, he might have made the right choice.

But Mahomes isn’t the only NFL quarterback that’s been faced with a similar dilemma. Here are four other quarterbacks who almost traded the gridiron for the pitcher’s mound:

Dan Marino

Pro Football Hall of Fame Press Conference Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

One of the best NFL passers of all time and a 2005 Pro Hall of Fame inductee, Marino had a 17-year career with the Miami Dolphins. But he was once drafted to be a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round — the 99th pick — of the 1979 draft.

Colin Kaepernick

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Show Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

A two-time California all-state baseball player in high school, Kaepernick could easily have pursued a successful career as an MLB pitcher, but instead opted to continue playing college football at the University of Nevada. Kaepernick was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 43rd round (1310th overall) of the 2009 MLB draft, during his third official season with the Wolf Pack.

Brandon Weeden

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

This current Houston Texans quarterback once had a promising pro baseball career that went south. Taken in the second round of the 2002 draft (71st overall) by the New York Yankees right out of high school, Weeden pitched in the minor leagues for five seasons. However, his pitching career never quite took off, and in 2006, Weeden decided to enroll at Oklahoma State. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (22nd overall) of the NFL draft in 2012.

Troy Aikman

UCLA Introduces Chip Kelly Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The Hall of Fame NFL quarterback was a successful pitcher and shortstop in high school, and the New York Mets tried to sign him to a baseball contract. But Aikman wanted to play football. Still, during his career at the University of Oklahoma, the Sooners baseball team sought — and received — permission from head football coach Barry Switzer for Aikman to play both sports. He never did, and eventually transferred to UCLA before being drafted into the NFL in with the first overall pick in 1989.

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.