KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t going to make the bold trade that allowed them to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes II without having some confidence it would work out well. They didn’t develop that confidence in a short period of time.
The Chiefs’ interest in Mahomes began last fall. Willie Davis, their Southwest area scout, found himself spending plenty of time at Texas Tech games watching Mahomes put up big numbers for the Red Raiders.
"I thought Willie did a great job of scouting him," coach Andy Reid said. "We got to know the kid before we got to know the kid."
With their curiosity up, the Chiefs continued to follow Mahomes through the draft process. That culminated with a visit to Kansas City, where Mahomes met with Chiefs officials and coaches.
"Everybody liked this guy," Reid said. "We couldn’t find anybody that didn’t like him. Everybody kind of just fell in love with the kid and what he was all about and how he went about his business and how he played."
The Chiefs at one point put Mahomes in front of a whiteboard. With Reid and some of the offensive coaches observing, they tested Mahomes' knowledge by asking him to draw some plays and explain his thinking.
"I feel like I did well," Mahomes said. "I feel like I drew them up really well and explained them. Explained what I did at Texas Tech and how it would relate and how different we were with how Coach Kingsbury let me really take control of that offense at Texas Tech. I feel like it went really well and we got along great. It felt like a great relationship already."
By the time Mahomes left Kansas City, both sides were hopeful they could make the arrangement permanent. Mahomes had the Chiefs on the short list of teams he thought would draft him as Thursday night's first round began.
"I knew there was a chance," he said. "I knew coach Reid and all the coaching staff and the owner, I knew they liked me a lot. I feel like the visit went really well. I knew there was a chance, but you never know on draft day. But I was extremely happy when it happened."
The Chiefs held the 27th pick in the first round and felt there was little to no chance Mahomes would be available at their turn. So about a week before the draft the Chiefs started trade discussions with some of the teams far ahead of them in the first round.
"I felt to get this player, I had to be at 10," general manager John Dorsey said. "I know there were three teams that wanted this player very badly."
The Buffalo Bills had the 10th pick. To move up to 10 and draft Mahomes, the Chiefs gave the Bills the first-round picks this year and next, plus a third-rounder this year.
The price was steep, but it was one the Chiefs were comfortable paying.
"What you’re doing is building the future of the organization," Dorsey said. "I think that’s important and we did that. I think from a compensation standpoint, I don’t think it was a lot. At the end of this thing, I really think he’s going to be a really good player. He’s in a perfect situation. He can sit back, learn and develop. Then, he has the tutelage of some really great coaches. I couldn’t be more excited."