National Football League
How Patrick Mahomes was almost a New Orleans Saint
National Football League

How Patrick Mahomes was almost a New Orleans Saint

Updated Sep. 13, 2022 3:18 p.m. ET

Football brilliance is rare. When you see it, you know it, and for many, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes epitomizes that to a tee.

Just ask former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

"He's the best," Payton told "The Herd" host Colin Cowherd on Monday. "There's no argument."


In fact, Payton has seen the potential in Mahomes since his days at Texas Tech and very nearly selected him in the 2017 NFL Draft.

"I remember [scouting] him in college," Payton reminisced. "We watched all the tape, obviously in a tougher setting there for him because he didn't have the personnel some of these other teams did. And then after that, we send him a playbook for days of installation. … We took him into a room for about half a day, and he was outstanding. Then we go out on the field, we throw, we work out, it's windy down there.

"He reminded me of (Brett) Favre, because he could torque his body and create speed on the ball without the feet having to be perfectly set. So some of these off-schedule throws he was very good at. I remember when we finished, I told [my staff], ‘We’re going right to the plane. We're not stopping anywhere, no one knows we're here. That's our quarterback.' Flash forward to the draft, we're picking at 11. The draft is unfolding, and [corner] Marshon Lattimore and Mahomes are still on the board. … And 10 is on the clock, Buffalo's there, there's been a trade, the Chiefs climb into 10, and I turn to the room and said, ‘Here goes Mahomes.’ So both sides win, but he's the best I've ever evaluated coming out of college.

"I wrote in my report, ‘The only thing I don’t like is the squeaky voice,'" Payton joked.

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Payton's evaluation of Mahomes wasn't surprising to Cowherd, who raved about his five-touchdown, 360-yard Week 1 performance against the Cardinals.

"Mahomes has a lot of [competitiveness]," Cowherd said. "I think Mahomes compartmentalizes it and keeps it to himself.

"All he heard in the offseason is, 'Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.' There was a top 100 list, everyone's, ‘Oh Aaron Rodgers is a different level.’ Tyreek Hill said ‘Tua [Tagovailoa] is the most accurate quarterback I’ve ever played with.' Patrick Mahomes, after yesterday, is 5-0 in Week 1, 18 TDs, no picks and a passer rating of 137. Despite his greatness, even though he's dominating and winning trophies, for some reason it still burns at the core."

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Colin Cowherd discusses Patrick Mahomes going 30 of 39 for 360 yards and five touchdowns in the Chiefs' 44-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

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