Patrick Mahomes was more aware of his pre-design critics than anyone on the planet. Mahomes, who had just wrapped up a prolific career at Texas Tech, addressed those criticisms head-on in an open letter to the NFL before he was drafted.
Mahomes’ open letter, published by The Players’ Tribune on the morning of the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, brought to light the following doubts circulating about his future potential as a pro quarterback:
“He plays in the Air Raid Offense. Can he take snaps under the middle? What about Audibles?”
“Does he really have the discipline to make it as a quarterback in the NFL?”
Instead of dodging these questions, Mahomes attacked them. He wrote about how during his time with the Red Raiders he learned to “run an offense,” an intangible that can’t be measured during a combine or pro day. Mahomes also highlighted how he’s improved “in every major category” every season throughout his college career.
“Anything critics want to throw at me, I know that with hard work I can fix it,” he wrote. “I’m not a project quarterback. People who say that aren’t really looking at my tape. I know I can make any shot, especially when my team needs a big play.”
Mahomes acknowledged that he wasn’t perfect and wouldn’t be perfect to get ahead. He said he missed shot at the NFL Combine, and it’s possible he didn’t answer each team’s questions to their liking. But he hoped the teams could see that each of his answers was sincere. Mahomes also reiterated the fact that he took responsibility for every mistake he made on the football field during his time at Texas Tech.
“I may make mistakes in this,” Mahomes wrote. “And I’m not going to win every single game I play throughout my career. I will not retire with a perfect passer rating or zero career breaks. But I’ll try as hard as anyone.”
Mahomes didn’t have to convince the Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid, who picked him with the 10th overall pick. Mahomes was the second quarterback selected; The Chicago Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky, the Steelers’ current backup, with the No. 2 overall pick.
After spending his rookie year watching veteran Alex Smith, Mahomes took the league by storm in his sophomore season. He won the league MVP after having one of the most prolific seasons for a quarterback in league annals. Mahomes led the Chiefs to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title the following season and became the first player to win league and Super Bowl MVP honors before his 25th birthday.
Mahomes led the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl the following season, but they were dethroned by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Chiefs’ reign at the helm of the AFC was briefly interrupted the following year when they were upset by Joe Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC title game.
Despite only recently becoming champions, the Chiefs had Missouri-sized chips on their shoulders by the start of the 2022 season. Determined to prove they were still a championship team (even after selling Tyreek Hill in the offseason), the Chiefs went 14-3 in the regular season. They then leveled the score with Cincinnati while retaking the AFC while receiving a rough try from Mahomes, who played the game with a painful high ankle sprain.
The Chiefs officially reclaimed their title as the NFL’s best team by defeating the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. And while he never really lost his nerve, Mahomes eclipsed his status as the top player in professional football in the process. He won the Super Bowl MVP for the second time while being the only player with multiple league and Super Bowl MVP trophies alongside Brady and Joe Montana.
Mahomes’ rapid rise to the top of professional football has rendered any doubt about his pre-draft abilities entirely obsolete. It made the end of his open letter prophetic.
“I’m ready to start the journey to a championship,” he wrote. “And more than anything in the world, I’m ready to get dressed and play football. The sooner we get to that, the better.
“Just wait until you see me in the group.”
https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/patrick-mahomes-addressed-pre-draft-criticism-in-an-open-letter-to-the-nfl-on-the-day-he-was-drafted/ Patrick Mahomes addressed the pre-draft criticism in an open letter to the NFL on the day of his draft