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    The Inside Story of How the Chiefs Discovered Patrick Mahomes

    Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are targeting their third Super Bowl in five years. But Mahomes might not even be in Kansas City if not for Brett Veach.

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    Patrick Mahomes is already a two-time NFL MVP and will be gunning for his third Super Bowl in just over a week. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has established a Hall of Fame-worthy career in only six seasons as a pro starter, kicking off his NFL tenure with as much success as any player not named Tom Brady.

    But Mahomes wasn’t always the NFL’s best signal-caller. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the then-Texas Tech quarterback was a prospect like everyone else. Remember, Mahomes wasn’t even the first QB selected in his draft class.

    How did Mahomes land in Kansas City? If there’s one person Chiefs fans should be thanking for Mahomes’ arrival, it’s Brett Veach.

    How Brett Veach Brought Patrick Mahomes to the Chiefs

    Veach is now Kansas City’s general manager, but he wasn’t directing the Chiefs’ front office leading up to the 2017 draft. John Dorsey was K.C.’s GM, while Veach was the team’s co-director of player personnel.

    Veach, 46, is a longtime Andy Reid disciple. After playing college football at the Univerity of Delaware (where he was teammates with Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy), Veach joined the Philadelphia Eagles as a coaching intern under Reid and has worked alongside the veteran head coach ever since.

    As one of Kansas City’s top evaluators, Veach was constantly scouring college film. According to former Chiefs QB Alex Smith (K.C.’s starter when Mahomes was drafted), Veach was interested in Mahomes as early as 2014.

    “I think Patrick had just finished his freshman year at Texas Tech, and I can remember Veach coming in … He was in love with Patrick after his freshman year,” Smith said on The Adam Schefter Podcast.

    “He came in the QB room, he’s like, ‘You guys gotta see this guy.’ Because we would always talk ball, talk college football and different stuff. And he had his eyes on (Mahomes) for a long time.”

    Fast forward to 2017, when Mahomes declared for the draft after posting back-to-back seasons of at least 4,600 passing yards and 35 touchdowns. He was considered a lock to be selected in the first round and projected to go off the board before Kansas City’s pick at No. 27.

    That meant Veach had to convince Reid and Dorsey not only to fall in love with Mahomes, but to trade up to draft him — and he left no stone unturned.

    Veach kept selling Mahomes to Dorsey while repeatedly asking Chris Cabott, Mahomes’ agent, about the quarterback’s wrist injury and mental state. Veach reached out to Cabott for 94 straight days leading up to the draft, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

    Once Dorsey was sold, he met with Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, showing him Texas Tech plays that displayed Mahomes’ ability.

    “Brett, obviously with retrospect now, did a tremendous job on scouting Patrick and then getting first, Andy, and then later, John Dorsey, excited about him,” Hunt said in October 2018. “It truly was an organizational decision to draft him, so I don’t want to minimize that, but Brett deserves a lot of the credit.”

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    Nine other NFL teams made selections in the first round of the 2017 draft before the Chiefs traded up to grab Mahomes. The Chicago Bears went with another quarterback, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, at No. 2.

    Kansas City leaped ahead of the New Orleans Saints at No. 11, trading its first-rounder (No. 27) and third-rounder (No. 91) in 2017 and a first in 2018 to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the 10th overall pick, landing one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history in the process.

    “Sometimes you take for granted that you’re seeing some of the best in the world, and all of a sudden (Mahomes) comes in,” Veach told Schefter in 2020.

    “This is right after we drafted him — from the first rookie minicamp to the OTAs to the training camp. This kid just makes these unbelievably gifted players look average … It takes a lot for someone to make these talented players look like college players or like high school players. But he steps on the field, and he has the innate ability … to just be in total control.”

    Veach’s sales job on Mahomes didn’t get him the Chiefs’ general manager position. He was promoted to GM a few months after the 2017 draft, before Mahomes had even played in an NFL game.

    Dorsey’s ouster had more to do with interpersonal issues and Reid’s preference to build an Eagles-like decision-making structure in Kansas City than it did with Mahomes. Still, spearheading one of the best draft picks in NFL history isn’t a bad feather for Veach to have in his cap.

    Veach and Reid signed extensions in 2020 that will keep them with the Chiefs through the 2025 campaign. If Kansas City wins its third Super Bowl under Veach, he might have a case to become the league’s highest-paid general manager.

    KEEP READING: Travis Kelce Blasts Justin Tucker Over Pregame Altercation

    As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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