KANSAS CITY, Mo. — During his time as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 to 2017, Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive Bruce Arians said he wanted to draft Patrick Mahomes.
The Texas Tech quarterback was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 draft after the team traded up to move to the 10th pick.
“I thought for sure when we were in Arizona that we were getting Patrick Mahomes,” Arians said during his appearance on the Pardon My Take podcast.
The Chiefs traded their 27th pick to the Buffalo Bills to jump up 17 spots, including over the Cardinals who sat at 13.
“As that draft was falling, I was like, ‘He’s ours!'” Arians said. “It’s either him or Deshaun [Watson].”
Arians and the Cardinals were shocked when Kansas City made the trade, because Alex Smith was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2017.
“There was a lot of knock of the offense he was coming out of, but just the four teams in front of us, no one needed a quarterback,” Arians said.
Arians traveled to Lubbock, Texas, as part of the pre-draft process and worked with Mahomes. He compared his “football IQ” to some of the greats.
“Skill wise, he’s off the charts,” Arians said. “But mentally he was right there with Peyton [Manning], Andrew [Luck] and Tom [Brady]. He’s sharp. Just really sharp”
Arians coached Brady during his time as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and even bested Mahomes and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.