With surprising trade rumors once again circulating, the Seahawks pre-draft interest in then Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to be fascinating. The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta recently revisited his original report that the Seahawks were interested in selecting Mahomes if he fell in the draft despite having Russell Wilson on the roster.
“The story is the Seahawks were so infatuated with Mahomes when he entered the draft out of Texas Tech in 2017 that they were thinking about taking him with the 26th pick if he had been available, even if quarterback was their position of least need,” Condotta reported in 2018.
The idea that Mahomes would still be on the board at the end of the first round may seem outlandish now, but the future Chiefs quarterback was a late riser in the pre-draft process. Mahomes’ stock had risen so much that he was being mentioned as slipping into the first round.
The Chiefs ultimately pulled off a surprise by trading up to select Mahomes higher than many projected with the No. 10 pick over notable quarterback Deshaun Watson. ESPN’s Mike Sando also reported that the Seahawks were interested in Mahomes.
“Mahomes was an alluring prospect for so many quarterback evaluators, to the point that Seattle would have considered taking him with the 26th overall choice, even with Russell Wilson firmly entrenched as the starter for years to come,” Sando noted after the 2017 NFL draft.
The Seahawks Had Mahomes Ranked in Their Top 10
It was a move that proved to be prudent, but the Chiefs were not the only team that had Mahomes ranked so highly. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll admitted that the Seahawks had Mahomes ranked in the top ten on their big board.
“(Seahawks general manager) John (Schneider) was in love with him,’’ Carroll told The Seattle Times. “He knew that he had something really special. He thought he was worthy of going up there in the very top of the draft. We were surprised that he made it to 10th by our evaluations.’’
Keep in mind, the Chiefs had a starting quarterback at the time in Alex Smith but thought enough of Mahomes to trade up to snag him. Mahomes would initially sit behind Smith, but this only lasted a season before they traded him to clear the way for their franchise quarterback.
Drafting Mahomes Would Have Left the Seahawks With an Interesting QB Dilemma
As it turns out, the Seahawks were not close to having the opportunity as Mahomes went 17 picks before Seattle was slated to pick at No. 27. While the Seahawks may have considered Mahomes at No. 27, this is a different scenario than using significant draft capital to trade up for a position of strength.
Instead, the Seahawks did the most on-brand thing possible by trading out of the first round. Seattle would later select Malik McDowell at No. 35, a pick the Seahawks undoubtedly would like to have back.
The Seahawks have rarely selected a quarterback during the John Schneider era, but fans should not be surprised if the team ends up pulling the trigger earlier than expected during an upcoming draft. Schneider made a revealing statement prior to the 2017 NFL draft about his philosophy that he shares with the Packers who incidentally just played out this exact scenario with Jordan Love.
“I’ve always thought you have to have one (quarterback) in the chamber and have a guy who is getting ready,’’ Schneider noted, per The Seattle Times. “…That’s something that you want to do. The most important position on the field.’’
The Seahawks are undoubtedly pleased with Wilson, but having Mahomes would have given the team a lot of ammo to make a blockbuster trade. It is hard to imagine having a bigger trade chip than Mahomes in your back pocket. We will never know what would have happened if the Seahawks had landed Mahomes, but the one thing that is clear is Seattle knows how to identify quarterbacks.