Opting not to select Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL draft may have yielded an unexpected advantage for the San Francisco 49ers, as revealed by recent insights.
Back in 2017, the 49ers opted for Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 pick. However, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, this decision indirectly paved the way for the team to acquire Brock Purdy in 2022.
Schefter highlighted the 49ers’ approach in the 2017 NFL Draft, where they held the second overall pick.
At that time, the organization didn’t extensively evaluate Mahomes, as they were banking on signing Kirk Cousins during the 2018 free agency period and reuniting him with head coach Kyle Shanahan. However, those plans fell through due to external factors.
Shanahan acknowledged in 2020 that while they did assess Mahomes, they perhaps didn’t delve as deeply as they should have. Despite recognizing Mahomes’ exceptional talent, the team didn’t anticipate him being selected so early in the draft.
Shanahan emphasized the team’s focus on bolstering their defense during that offseason, considering their poor performance in yards and points allowed in the previous season.
Naturally, in hindsight, Mahomes would have been a coveted choice over Purdy. Shanahan has openly expressed remorse over the decision in the 2017 draft.
Nonetheless, the 49ers have remained competitive despite this setback. This stands in contrast to the Chicago Bears, who selected Mitchell Trubisky instead of Mahomes with the No. 2 pick and are still grappling with the repercussions of that decision.
The forthcoming events will shed light on Purdy’s ability to lead the franchise to a Super Bowl. Success in this regard could mitigate the significance of the 2017 draft for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
However, if Mahomes outperforms the 49ers once again, it may prompt fans to reflect on what might have been.