After the Chiefs’ 2018 draft, Patrick Mahomes was drafted to be their starting quarterback in 2017. He would go on to lead them to a 13-3 record and only missing out of the playoffs by one game. The rest is history with what may have been the most exciting start for a rookie QB ever.
The “2018 nfl draft grades” is a blog post that analyzes the performance of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2017 NFL Draft Class. The article discusses how the team’s success in 2017 can be attributed to their drafting strategy, which was focused on building around Mahomes.
The Kansas City Chiefs may have been the greatest winners in the 2017 NFL Draft, if only because they got Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes famously selected 10th overall in the 2017 selection and went on to become one of the NFL’s best starting quarterbacks despite spending his first year on the bench. The eventual NFL MVP was one of six players selected by Kansas City in the spring draft.
After five years, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate your draft classes. With that in mind, it seems like a good moment to revisit the Chiefs’ 2017 draft class of six players.
Players were assessed based on their performance with the Chiefs on this list. On-field performance, off-field troubles, where the player was selected, and how long they stayed with the team were all taken into account. Teams were not necessarily punished for choosing Player A over Player B since we believe so much of a player’s performance is based on the system and structure surrounding them. The Chiefs’ rating for picking Mahomes, for example, had nothing to do with the guys picked before him.
The Chiefs’ re-graded 2017 NFL Draft class looks like this based on the aforementioned prerequisites:
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech, 1st round, 10th overall
This entry is self-explanatory. Mahomes starts the 2022 season as perhaps the best quarterback in the league, and if he’s not No. 1, he’ll almost surely be in the top three. From 2018 to 21, the Texas Tech product accumulated 18,707 yards, 151 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions after only appearing in one game as a rookie. During that period, the four-time Pro Bowler carried for 1,179 yards and eight touchdowns on 5.1 yards per run.
But hold on! There’s more! After passing for 50 touchdowns, Mahomes was named the 2018 NFL MVP. After guiding the Chiefs to a stunning comeback during the 2019 season, he was named Super Bowl 54 MVP. He inked a 10-year agreement for up to $503 million just a few months later. The only criticism against Patrick Mahomes is that his younger brother, Jackson, has yet to be dispatched to Poochie’s home planet.
In all seriousness, this is a straightforward A+.
Grade: A+ in 2022
Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova, Round 2, No. 59
In four seasons with the Chiefs, Kpassagnon did not score a touchdown, but he did have seven sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble in 61 games and 24 starts. During the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run after the 2019 season, he had two sacks and was awarded a ring for his performance.
We feel comfortable assigning Kpassagnon a C+ for his efforts on defense and special teams for a squad that reached the AFC Championship Game in three of his four seasons with the team. Here, his Super Bowl ring comes in handy.
Grade: C+ in 2022
Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo, 3rd round, No. 86
Because of how Hunt’s stint in Kansas City ended, grading him is incredibly tough. When the Chiefs cut him in November 2018 after a video of him violently attacking a woman earlier that year emerged, the Toledo product was among the NFL’s best running backs. It’s important mentioning that he was never charged with a felony and was suspended by the Cleveland Browns for eight games in 2019.
Hunt led the NFL in running yards with 1,327 yards as a rookie in 2017, and he was on track to surpass 1,000 yards in his second season. Those figures alone are deserving of an A, if not an A+. However, we utilized off-field troubles and “how long they lasted with the franchise” while assigning a score, according to the ranking criteria.
In brief, Hunt crushed opposing defenses until the Chiefs cut him halfway through his second season due to an off-field incident. After considerable deliberation, a B- grade seems to be reasonable. Such a high score reflects both his outstanding performance and the fact that he didn’t play in Kansas City for two seasons.
Grade: B- in 2022
Jehu Chesson, WR, Michigan, 4th round, No. 139
Who? Chesson has two receptions for 18 yards in his rookie season before being waived by the Chiefs before the 2018 season. As a rookie, the former Indiana star played a key role on special teams, appearing in 62 percent of the AFC West champion’s special teams plays and returning three kickoffs for 65 yards.
Even though he only participated for one season, he did so for the whole year. We’re going to award him a D+.
Grade: D+ in 2022
Ukeme Eligwe, OLB, Georgia Southern, Round 5, No. 183
Ukeme Eligwe played for the Kansas City Chiefs in his debut season | Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Much of what we wrote about Chesson applies to Eligwe as well. Both players only stayed with the Chiefs for a year, had some on-field experience as rookies, mostly played special teams, and were released before to the 2018 season. During the 2017 season, Eligwe had five tackles, one for a loss, and a sack in 14 games. He also played 52 percent of the Chiefs’ special teams plays, but it wasn’t enough to secure him a place on the roster the following season.
We’ll award Eligwe a D+ if we give Chesson a D+.
Grade: D+ in 2022
Leon McQuay, DB, USC, 6th round, No. 218
McQuay’s sole regular-season action in 2017 came in a Week 17 win against the Broncos, which was also the game in which Mahomes made his NFL debut. While playing 71 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive plays and 64 percent of the special teams snaps, the USC product tallied four tackles and a pass breakup.
The fact that McQuay played is enough to protect him from receiving an F, and the Chiefs kept him on the practice squad for the 2018 season. Despite this, his D- is due to the fact that he only appeared on the field once in two seasons.
Grade: D- in 2022
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RELATED: Patrick Mahomes’ 2017 NFL Draft Prospects: A Look at the Top 9 Players
The “chiefs qb before mahomes” is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. Patrick Mahomes was the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he just might be better than his quarterback from last season, Alex Smith.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Mahomes start 2017?
A: Yes, Mahomes did start the 2017 NFL season.
How much does KC pay Patrick Mahomes?
How much do NFL Mahomes make?
A: Mahomes is currently making $20,000 per week.
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