Why didn’t the 49ers draft Patrick Mahomes in 2017?

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The 49ers had the No. 2 overall choice in 2017 and didn’t have a long-term answer at quarterback after moving on from Colin Kaepernick. They did not draft Patrick Mahomes.

San Francisco instead traded down to No. 3 and selected defensive tackle Solomon Thomas.

“I didn’t look into [Mahomes], obviously, as much as I should have,” Shanahan said Tuesday, via Cam Inman of the Mercury News. “We definitely looked into him and studied his tape. He was a freak and could make any throw.

“We had the second pick and based on the intel, it didn’t seem he would go that high. . . .With the situation we were in, we didn’t want to be that risky, with the second player in the draft.”

The 49ers were planning to pursue Kirk Cousins in free agency in 2018.

”I felt very confident that he wasn’t going to stay [in Washington],” Shanahan said, via Matt Barrows of TheAthletic.com.

The 49ers, though, ended up trading for Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline.

The rest is history, with Garoppolo going 5-0 in his December debut with San Francisco in 2017.

“He blew all our minds with the success he had out there,” Shanahan said.

The 49ers committed to Garoppolo with a long-term deal; the Vikings signed Cousins; and Mahomes became an MVP with the Chiefs.

32 responses to “Why didn’t the 49ers draft Patrick Mahomes in 2017?

  1. The Niners are obviously very happy with the outcome of the Garappolo trade.

    The Chiefs are obviously very happy with the decision to trade up for Mahomes and let him sit for a year.

    One would think sports journalists would already have plenty to talk about during Super Bowl week; is it really necessary to go back and second-guess a bunch of “shoulda/coulda/woulda” scenarios?

  2. Well, you’ve got to give the lam brain Bears some credit, for trading them the just one spot back pick (the third pick) AND 2 other picks – just to use that spot for Tribustky…

    I mean com’on.. that type opportunity only comes along when true “geniuses” are also wanting your pick

  3. Honestly there is NOTHING to talk about this game since it has not happened yet. Conjecture gets you nowhere. The buildup to the game is a farce and has no bearing on the game at all. If we could cancel the conjecture and the lies and the half time show, we’d have a great start.

  4. In hindsight he would have been the #1 overall pick, it’s not just the Browns, 49ers and Bears that passed on him.

  5. They obviously weren’t convinced Mahomes would be very good, because if you’ve identified a QB you believe will be an all-Pro, you draft him as high as you have to, and disregard where the other “experts” had him slotted.
    I’ll give them kind of a pass because they were expecting Cousins.

  6. Didn’t Mahomes go 10th overall in the draft? So the same argument could be made asking why any of the first 9 teams didn’t take him. Hindsight is always very helpful

  7. SF has made some VERY bad off season moves that seem to go unnoticed…not drafting Pat is the biggest one…

  8. AndyReidsMustache says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Solomon over Mahomes, yeah that Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius I say!
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Ryan Pace gives this comment a thumbs up.

  9. The 49ers didn’t draft Mahomes because he was a super-raw talent who played backyard and system air raid football in college, flinging the ball with his amazing arm but also showing some of the worst footwork you’ll ever see from an NFL prospect. The fact is that Mahomes needed work, and on a different team he might not have developed as he has. Teams like to use top-15-pick QBs as rookies, and with Mahomes that wasn’t an option; hence why the teams that were interested in him (supposedly the Saints would have taken him if the Chiefs hadn’t traded up) had older veteran QBs and could afford to wait for Mahomes to acquire some needed polish.

  10. Hindsight is great and all, but the only reason anyone’s asking Shanahan about it is because of how well things panned out for the 49ers. You could ask the Browns, Bears, Jags, Titans, Jets, Chargers, Panthers, Bengals, and Bills the same questions, but this week, nobody cares why those teams didn’t draft Mahomes, and their coaching and head office staffs are at home.

  11. These type of articles are, without a shadow of a doubt, the WORST articles that sportswriters do. It’s as if scouts and GMs don’t have the benefit of 20/20 vision! Who could have thought! Also, in addition to the player first having to be good at what he does, has anyone considered that having a different coach, different scheme, or different teammates could possible affect how a player turns out?

    As someone said earlier, Mahomes was pretty raw and played in a notoriously bad defensive conference. That’s why they lost so many games despite putting up incredible offensive production. Andy Reid and the entire Chiefs organization have a huge hand in honing Mahomes’ skills into a polished NFL product.

  12. Several teams made that mistake..including the Browns.

    I am sure Bill Polian had him rated the #1 players since 2016….

  13. xbam says:
    January 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm
    SF has made some VERY bad off season moves that seem to go unnoticed…not drafting Pat is the biggest one…
    ———————————————-

    Winning is all that matters:

    Mahomes 27-8 .771 win%

    Garoppolo 23-5 .821 win%

    Whoopsie. Garoppolo has won a higher percentage of games. It sure doesn’t look like the Niners wiffed on Mahomes.

  14. Mahomes on his rookie contract or a very handsomely paid Garappolo and Soloman Thomas the bust is not even a debate. The 49ers made a mistake.

  15. Mahomes was under the radar. Most people were talking about Mitchell Sakebitsky as the top ranked prospect. Lynch and Shanahan obviously did not think he was worth a number 2 overall pick. They signed Brian Hoyer as a temporary solution, probably so they can either sign Cousins or draft a better quarterback than Snakebitsky the next season.

    Besides, KC did not think Mahomes was good enough to start in his rookie season either and spent a whole year developing him. So, at the time he was drafted, Mahomes showed potential to be a good QB, but there is some risk picking an unproven prospect with good potential that early in the draft. If he flops, then the 49er cynics would have a good excuse screaming for Lynch’s head.

  16. I think Shanahan was still traumatized by having to coach RGIII. I don’t mean that to be a dig at RGIII. Those two were forced together. But while I think Kyle took away some zone read concepts that he utilized with RGIII. I think getting RGIII injured by running so much has stuck with him. The 49ers still use the zone read and RPO plays but you almost never see the QB as an option as a runner. It’s always a back and an orbit motion running receiver threatening an end around in place of the QB as a runner.

    If Kyle wanted a mobile QB to run that bootleg action and zone read stuff….he had the perfect QB already on the 49ers at the time in Kaepernick. But Shanahan said Kaepernik wasn’t what he was looking for in a QB. Shanahan has stressed his desire for an accurate QB (which of course all offensive coaches say….) that makes quick decisions (not Kaepernick) But 49er fans were initially surprised by the kind of QB he wanted. Mike Shanahan’s offenses were built around a fairly mobile QB that could bootleg out of the pocket and pass. Kyle wanted almost a pure pocket passer. That’s what he had with Cousins. His bridge QB to Cousins with the 49ers was Brian Hoyer; an experienced QB in his system. His first QB pick was C.J. Beathard a college pocket QB familiar with pro passing concepts. Beathard is about as pocket of a QB as you can get as he just stands in there like a statue forever and took so many hits that I no longer was mad at his bad play and just felt bad for him (and the ironic thing is that Beathard is a really good scrambler if wanted to be).

    I think Shanahan wanted to stay away from college QB’s (especially ones that ran simpler college type offenses) that he’d have to rebuild as pocket passers vs. coaching up veterans used to making pro passing reads. So he stayed away from talented mobile QBs in college like Mahomes. Hats off to Reid for sitting Mahomes, coaching up and tailoring his offense to Mahomes.

  17. dino2997 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 3:01 pm
    Mahomes on his rookie contract or a very handsomely paid Garappolo and Soloman Thomas the bust is not even a debate. The 49ers made a mistake.
    ——————————————————

    Who cares about what they get paid? It’s not like the fans get to keep the money.

    The bottom line is that with Garoppolo, the Niners win more of their games than the Chiefs do with Mahomes.

    Winning is all that matters. Stats are useless. Ask Dan Marino.

  18. Why didn’t (every team) draft (Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Dan Fouts, Fran Tarkenton, Warren Moon, Ken Anderson, etc. etc.) in (any year)?

  19. The trade for the 10th pick was with Buffalo and obviously both teams have been very content with the deal that was made. Mahomes would not be as successful should he went to Buffalo because the protection and solid input the Chiefs were able to supply wasn’t available under the coaching/management (due respect to present coach) and the progress would have been very lacking. Buffalo drafted what was really needed in Tre White and the end result is they both made the Pro Bowl and voted top shelf on the Pro Football First Liners= all went well for both teams/players

  20. I doubt of any of the teams mentioned in the article have any regrets about the way things turned out. Except the Vikings of course.

  21. I guess just asking questions like that means that all hall of fame players should have been taken 1st overall unless of course there are more than 1 HOF from a year. It is too bad Brady isn’t in the Superbowl again. Then guys could ask 30 some teams 6 times why they didn’t draft him, including asking NE why they passed on him 5 times before.

  22. Shoulda, woulda, coulda! I think they are satisfied with Jimmy G! Mahommes college record was a big question mark! Chiefs got lucky!

  23. The best quarterback does not always take his team to the big dance. Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are this year’s pro bowl quarterbacks, and Jimmy G. has a 5-1 record against these 4 quarterbacks this season, and beat them all at least once. Lamar Jackson is not going to the Super Bowl either. Of the sex quarterbacks named to the Pro Bowl, only 1 of them is playing in the Super Bowl.

  24. californianewton says:
    January 28, 2020 at 3:01 pm
    Mahomes was under the radar. Most people were talking about Mitchell Sakebitsky as the top ranked prospect. Lynch and Shanahan obviously did not think he was worth a number 2 overall pick. They signed Brian Hoyer as a temporary solution, probably so they can either sign Cousins or draft a better quarterback than Snakebitsky the next season.
    Besides, KC did not think Mahomes was good enough to start in his rookie season either and spent a whole year developing him. So, at the time he was drafted, Mahomes showed potential to be a good QB, but there is some risk picking an unproven prospect with good potential that early in the draft. If he flops, then the 49er cynics would have a good excuse screaming for Lynch’s head.

    Yea… that is why the Chiefs didn’t start him his rookie year. They didn’t think he was good enough. Not because they planned it that way.

    Btw… He still has awful footwork. He is just so good it doesn’t matter.

  25. I think alot of folks forget how lucky the 49ers were in avoiding the Kirk Cousins bullet.

    Cousins was definitely Plan A for SF. If they had Cousins, they’d be 8-8, even with that D and running game!

  26. Everybody are presuming that Mahomes would be average or bellow if he went anywhere else or if he started right away. Presumptions aside, greatness finds the way.

  27. I BELIEVE THE WAY KS BUILT HIS 49ERS OFFENSIVE PLAYBOOK WOULDN’T FIT pat mahomes style..I’M SO HAPPY HOW THINGS TURN OUT FOR THE 49ERS. THE OWNER OF THE 9ERS NEED TO SIGN KS & JL TO 10 YR CONTRACTS.. KS NEEDS TO BE A FIXTURE IN SF 49ERS LORE.

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