Who was drafted ahead of Patrick Mahomes at the 2017 NFL Draft?
Before becoming a three-time Super Bowl champion, Patrick Mahomes began his football career as a three-star recruit out of high school. He received very few offers, eventually signing with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
In three years on campus, Mahomes flexed remarkable arm talent but was considered a raw prospect heading into the 2017 NFL Draft.
Although an unfinished product, Mahomes never lacked in the talent department. During the pre-draft workout phase, the gifted passer won over scouts and fans with his impressive arm strength and ability to throw on the run.
Still, once the NFL Draft came around, Mahomes was left sitting in the green room longer than he expected. But that soon changed when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up the board to secure their signal-caller of the future.
The future All-Pro backed up veteran Alex Smith as a rookie before taking the reins in 2018. And the rest is, as they say, history. But why did Mahomes last until the tenth overall selection in the draft? What nine players were taken before him, and where are they now?
Nine players taken before Patrick Mahomes in the NFL Draft
Myles Garrett, EDGE, Cleveland Browns
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year was tabbed as a generational prospect out of Texas A&M. Garrett is a three-time All-Pro with 88.5 sacks in his seven-year career.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
The Bears swung and missed on Trubisky, a player scouts believed was a worthy first-round pick in 2017. When his contract expired, Chicago didn’t offer the one-time Pro Bowler a new deal, leading to a parting of ways between the two.
Solomon Thomas, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Thomas failed spectacularly for the Niners, recording only six sacks in 30 career games in San Francisco. He’s since carved out a niche role with the New York Jets.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Labeled as the “next Adrian Peterson” during his time at LSU, Fournette went to Jacksonville fourth overall — six spots ahead of Mahomes. The Jaguars landed Trevor Lawrence a couple of years later, but this still marks a massive miss in 2017.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
In a shocking move at the time, the Western Michigan alum went inside the top five of the 2017 NFL Draft. Davis had two decent showings in 2018 and 2020 but never lived up to his billing.
Jamal Adams, DB, New York Jets
Adams burst onto the scene early as a three-time Pro Bowler in his first four NFL seasons. Since then, the star safety has been traded and dealt with a litany of injuries.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Williams followed in the footsteps of former Clemson Tiger wide receiver by coming off the board early in round one. He has multiple 1,000-yard seasons in his career but hasn’t played an entire regular season slate once.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Even the best current running back in the NFL went before Patrick Mahomes. McCaffrey has dealt with injuries of his own, but when healthy, few in the league match his on-field ability.
John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The speedy wideout from Washington, John Ross, blazed a 4.22 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. However, he only has 62 career catches and hasn’t appeared in a game since 2021.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs saw something special in Patrick Mahomes and traded up from 27th overall with the Buffalo Bills to secure his talents. While the Bills didn’t take a player before Mahomes, they did trade the choice that became the two-time NFL MVP.
At least ten other franchises could have ended up with Mahomes. But Kansas City pulled the trigger, and now, Chiefs Kingdom is reaping the benefits as the dynasty continues gaining steam.