Sean Payton: Patrick Mahomes was the best quarterback I’d ever seen on tape in a workout

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins
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The Saints and Chiefs will meet for the first time since Patrick Mahomes has been Kansas City’s quarterback on Sunday, and that has New Orleans head coach Sean Payton reflecting on a choice he almost had to make.

Payton mentioned back in April 2018 — before Mahomes became a full-time starter — that the Saints were considering picking him at No. 11 overall in 2017. But Mahomes, of course, came off the board when the Chiefs traded up to No. 10. The Saints selected cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

This week, Payton remembered Mahomes’ pre-draft workout as particularly impressive.

“I felt like it was the best quarterback I had ever seen on tape in a workout,” Payton said, via Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star. “I had done a lot of them to that point. You name it. I just thought he had that rare ability, and there was going to be a ton of upside. Man, he was real good in the meeting room. He processed the information extremely [well] — all those things you can’t see on video. That was just my instincts. I didn’t know for sure.

“But when the draft comes, you begin to think, ‘Well, there’s gotta be someone else that sees what I see.'”

That “someone” was Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. On draft night, Payton figured when Kansas City traded up, it was to take Mahomes.

“Look, I’ve always respected Andy. It was one of those where I don’t know how many people had the grade on Patrick that we had,” Payton said. “But I thought Andy clearly would have with his background at the quarterback position. He would’ve seen, I think, the same things.”

As it turned out, Reid certainly did.

10 responses to “Sean Payton: Patrick Mahomes was the best quarterback I’d ever seen on tape in a workout

  1. A lot of QB’s look great in workouts, but they don’t look as good when there is a defense on the field. Mahomes looked even better against a defense, and you could see on tape how smart he was. People raved about his arm strength, but it was his football I.Q. that stood out when you watched him in college. He was Brett Favre, except way smarter.

  2. Mahomes was a risky pick based solely on history alone. The long list of failed Big 12 quarterbacks is well known and documented. He shattered that mold.

  3. You couldn’t tell that from his college days. Mahomes threw picks left and right. No way he is the QB he is now without Reid’s tutelage.

  4. Awesome story. This young QB was destined to succeed. He could not go wrong with either of these coaches/teams.

  5. Saints should’ve let Brees walk and drafted Mahomes. Too bad they’re cursed after bountygate.

  6. Can you imagine Mahomes playing a minimum 11 games a year indoors or in warm weather (NO home 8 games plus Atlanta, Tampa and Carolina)? His numbers would be even more ridiculous than they’ve been in KC.

  7. Obviously the Saints were going to take Mahommes until the Chiefs jumped them at the last minute.
    Lattimore had been slotted @ #4 , so the Saints got a fantastic talent @ #11, but …
    Mahommes and Payton !?!?!?
    Saints top 10 offense from 2006 to present, then you add Mahommes!?!??! wow…

  8. jredshoes says:
    December 16, 2020 at 6:22 pm
    What excuse do the other 9 teams that passed on Mahommes have?

    He wasn’t very good at TT, he was 12-13 in his junior and senior seasons and 13-16 overall, 13-16 isn’t going to get you a lot of looks from pro teams! The vast majority of draft experts didn’t even have Mahomes listed as a 1st rounder.

    And let me make this perfectly clear, Mahomes wouldn’t be half the QB he is if he’d have gone anywhere else, Reid letting him sit and learn for a season and Reid’s mentoring has made Mahomes one of the best QB’s in NFL history!

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