Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs wouldn’t be here without an amazing draft success rate

Kansas City, Missouri – Patrick Mahomes In the second year of a 10-year, $450 million contract with Kansas City Chiefs. For the 2022 season, he alone accounted for 17.2% of the team’s salary cap, according to

Mahomes is the most talented player in the league, so no other team would hesitate if given the opportunity to dedicate so much to one player. It is the exception to the rule.

However, what goes to one player cannot go to all the other players, i.e. 52 more players need to win matches.

That’s why there’s still a theory that the winning formula for teams is to have a great quarterback on a relatively cheap rookie contract — like Super Bowl opponent Philadelphia in Kansas City (Jalen HurtsUS$1.6 million) or AFC Championship competitor Cincinnati (Joe Burrow, $9.8 million) Enjoy. Then you spend some of that extra cash on a few important pieces.

And maybe that’s right.

Well, unless you’re the boss and you can find the old school way around this puzzle; That is, by completely crushing the draft over the past three years and stocking the roster with major contributors who get on the loose, even if it’s not the quarterback.

Kansas City has made 22 draft picks across the past three NFL drafts. Due to its success during that span, the Chiefs have never had a draft pick higher than 21st overall (2022). They did not have a first round pick in 2021 and picked the 32nd overall in 2020.

However, General Manager Bret Fitch and his staff were on the heater. As far as Mahomes, Travis KelseyAnd Chris Jones And Head coach Andy Reid They get the praise they deserve, this has been a truly curated trip to power.

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Isiah Pacheco (10) in the seventh round, and he was a major contributor to the playoffs as a junior.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted running back Isiah Pacheco (10) in the seventh round, and he was a major contributor to the playoffs as a starter. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Seventeen of these 22 draft picks have played in the AFC title game, including 10 of them who have played at least half of the picks. And they’ve come from all over recruiting, from the early to the late rounds. There was even a rookie undrafted free agent, Jake Cochrane, who was on 18 special teams.

In addition, two more draft picks are selected – the running back Clyde Edwards Heller and defensive end Joshua Kindo – In injured reserve. One pick – Thakarius “Bopete” Keyes, a seventh-round pick in 2020, traded after one season.

Another wide receiver Cornell Powell, a fifth-round draft pick in 2021, is on the practice squad, but has seen action in three games this season. Rookie Darian Kinnard has seen limited assignments this season, but the team sees a future for him as an inside offensive lineman.

It’s fair to say that Kansas City has picked up 20 draft picks out of its previous 22 draft picks.

Consider some of the highlights from Sunday AFC title match win over Cincinnati Bengals From the Class of 2022 alone:

  • Rutgers-powered 251 running back Isiah Pacheco had 85 combined yards rushing and receiving in a game they were hard-pressed to come by.

  • Defensive end George Carlaftis, the #30 pick from Purdue, had a huge sack and added depth to the dominant defensive front.

  • Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson, who threw 243, caught an interception for the second consecutive game.

  • Cornerback Joshua Williams, the 135th pick from Fayetteville State, made his own pick by getting a great tip from fellow first-year defenseman Brian Cook, a second baseman from Cincinnati.

  • First round cornerback Trent McDuffie of Washington had two pass deflections and six tackles while taking 98% of snaps.

  • Finally there was receiver and, most importantly, returner Skyy Moore, a second baseman from Western Michigan, who caught only three passes for 13 yards, but delivered a huge last-minute, 29-yard kick return to set up KC’s game-winning drive

Kansas City general manager Brett Veitch (center) has found all kinds of hidden gems in recent drafts to help boost the roster around Patrick Mahomes.  (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Kansas City general manager Brett Veitch (center) has found all kinds of hidden gems in recent drafts to help boost the roster around Patrick Mahomes. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

This is an amazing and decisive team performance by the rookies. From 2021, linebacker Nick Bolton (four tackles), offensive linemen Creed Humphries, and Trey Smith They were on the court for every defensive or offensive strike, respectively.

The Chiefs are undoubtedly a heavy team at the top. There’s Mahomes, the biggest star in the game. and future Hall of Famer Travis Kelsey’s court end. The impulsive duo of Chris Jones and Frank Clark Combined for seven treatments and 3.5 sachets. Offensive linemen Joe Thuney Orlando Brown Jr. is an expensive addition the team brought in to protect Mahomes.

Those six alone collect 53.58% of the chiefs’ salary cap. By comparison, in the Eagles wealth share, the top 25 players combine for 53.13% of the salary cap.

Next season will be even more difficult for Kansas City. The Browns may leave via free agency, but the remaining five are slated to eat 63.71% themselves.

However it may not matter. At least not if Veach and company can continue the hot streak and use dozens of their 2023 draft picks to find players to come along and contribute, even to the biggest games.

Kansas City may be star-powered, but it wouldn’t be in the Super Bowl, let alone potentially winning it, if not for the relatively underpaid youngsters of the Chiefs coming up again and again.

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