The San Francisco 49ers had the chance to draft Patrick Mahomes with the third-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. But they decided to go with defensive end Solomon Thomas instead.
Of course, it all ended up working out for the 49ers. They acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots in 2017 and ended up selecting Nick Bosa in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Sure, Garoppolo tore his ACL early in the 2018 season and the 49ers finished 4-12. But now San Francisco is preparing for Super Bowl LIV against the Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday admitted he didn’t look into Mahomes “as much as I should have” ahead of the draft.
“I didn’t look into him obviously as much as I should have,” he said, per NFL Media’s Nick Shook. “We definitely looked into him, studied all of his tape. Was just a freak, could make any throw, had the ability to do anything. That was a little bit different situation for us. We had the second pick in the draft, did not feel like from all the intel that you get and stuff that he was gonna go that high.”
But with Kirk Cousins set to become a free agent the following year, Shanahan wanted to leave that door open.
“It was a little different situation for us just ’cause I think it’s pretty well documented of just the relationship I had with Kirk being in Washington and I felt very confident that he wasn’t gonna stay there,” Shanahan said. “So anytime you go into a season knowing that a franchise quarterback was going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at.”
But the chance to acquire Garoppolo was there, so Shanahan took it. Cousins went to the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 and Mahomes was selected 10th overall by Kansas City in 2017.
While this didn’t seem like San Francisco’s plan, we doubt there’s much complaining considering Shanahan, Garoppolo and the rest of the 49ers are in Miami preparing for Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night.