What if Patrick Mahomes became a Chicago Bear in 2017?
On Monday, Patrick Mahomes’ father, Patrick Mahomes Sr., was invited to Score’s Parkins & Spiegel’s 670 to admit a hard-hitting anecdote about the 2017 NFL draft.
“They [Chicago Bears] told him he was going to be recruited [Patrick Mahomes]” Mahomes Sr. told Parkins and Spiegel. “They told him they were going to draft him, so we thought he was going to be the third overall pick and go to Chicago. He had a great meeting when (he was) there and he liked all the guys that were doing things there. He thought it was going to be a bear.”
“And then once they traded up and got Mitch, it hurt him. It really did.”
Patrick Mahomes thought the Bears would draft him
Mahomes will forever be remembered as the one who fled the city of Chicago.
In just five seasons as the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, he has amassed five Pro Bowl nominations, two All-Pro selections, an MVP award (likely another this season) and a Super Bowl ring, with potential for his second coming up
On Tuesday, NBC Sports Chicago’s David Haugh, Mark Grote and Josh Schrock discussed Mahomes’ potential in Chicago and what could have come of the partnership.
Could Mahomes have led the Bears to a Super Bowl?
“I’m going to be fake,” Shrock said. “I’m going to break everybody’s heart. I think Patrick Mahomes is phenomenal. He’s probably the greatest talent we’ve ever seen at quarterback. But a lot of his success is because of the situation he found himself in. Andy Reid. He had to sit a whole year behind Alex Smith. He comes in, he’s got Tyreek Hill, he’s got Travis Kelce, he’s got all the weapons, a great head coach.
“Come to Chicago, are Matt Nagy, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel going to do it? I don’t think so.”
In contrast to Trubisky’s debut season in the league, Mahomes made a start in his rookie season, allowing him to completely submerge the Chiefs’ offense before taking the field. Trubisky, on the other hand, immediately surpassed Mike Glennon, starting 12 games in his rookie season.
However, despite the potential setback of having to play him in 2017, the Chicago Bears had an optimal situation, starting with their defense.
The Bears finished first in opponent points per game in 2018, allowing just 17.6 per game during the regular season. They also allowed the third fewest yards per game to the opponent, allowing just under 300 yards per game.
“I think the answer is yes,” Bears reporter Mark Grote said. “I think Patrick Mahomes would have taken the Bears to a Super Bowl because talent, whatever the structure of an organization, and it was shaky at times with the Bears, top talent like that, top talent finds a way .
“And one thing Ryan Pace did well was build, for at least a year and maybe a year and a half, an elite defense. Not just with free agents, but with draft picks, both safeties with Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, linebacker. Roquan Smith, the signing of Akeem Hicks, a defensive line that was pretty good every year to freshen up.”
As Grote mentioned, Mahomes would have walked into a decently desirable situation with the Bears.
The aforementioned defense was certainly built to compete in a deep playoff run, even in a Super Bowl situation. Yes, his offensive weapons were limited, but Allen Robinson was on the verge of becoming an elite receiver in the league, catching 754 yards in 2018, but over 1,100 yards in each of the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 17 total touchdowns. And Trubisky was indeed a Pro Bowl quarterback in 2018. What would Mahomes have been under then-Coach of the Year Matt Nagy?
Surely, in the long run, the sustained success may not have lasted. David Haugh chimed in on the conversation to argue that history likely would have changed had Mahomes played in Chicago in the 2017 season.
“If I had played and given that hope, maybe John Fox isn’t fired, maybe they don’t have 2018. I think that’s flat out false,” Haugh said. “I think we want to believe that things would have gone a lot better because they got the quarterback. But, I think it was a blessing in disguise that the Bears never called. It was the best thing that ever happened to Patrick Mahomes. Ryan. Pace I could have fooled them.”
“What you’re both saying is that Patrick Mahomes depends on the system,” Grote said. “I don’t think he’s dependent on the system. I think Patrick Mahomes is a real talent. You guys are discounting his talent when you say he wouldn’t have made it to the top with the Bears.”