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QB Patrick Mahomes II says he's not far away from being game-ready

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Patrick Mahomes II has yet to advance beyond the No. 3 quarterback spot at Kansas City Chiefs practice, but the rookie said he doesn’t feel it will be long before he gains on the top two on the depth chart -- starter Alex Smith and Tyler Bray.

“I don’t know if I’m that far away," Mahomes said when asked how close he is to being game-ready. “I’ve just got to keep working, keep getting better. These veterans are guys that have been around the league, been in the league, and have been very successful. In order to be like them, I’ve got to go as hard as I do and catch up to them."

In five full-squad practice sessions, Mahomes has shown many of the qualities that led the Chiefs to trade up 17 spots in the first round of the draft last month and select him with the 10th overall pick. His throws are generally accurate and arrive with zip. He has a big arm and can throw well on the move.

But he’s had his share of adjustments to the pro game. He showed that during the first two-minute drill of his NFL career in practice Wednesday.

That’s why Mahomes still looks a long way from challenging Smith for the starting spot, or even Bray for the No. 2 job.

“There’s going to be a lot of growing pains as a rookie, especially at that position," center Mitch Morse said. “I definitely believe he’s capable of picking up the speed of the game. He’s very enthusiastic, always (into it). But right now, for me, (Smith) is our quarterback. He’s going to be our quarterback no matter what.

“Pat’s going to be a great player. He really strives to negate the deficits, right? He’s always trying to focus on the things that he doesn’t do well instead of 'Look what I can do.'"