If all 32 NFL teams had to pick one player to build a franchise around, Patrick Mahomes would almost certainly be the consensus selection after winning the MVP award in just his first season as a starter.
That wasn't the case just two years ago, however, when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to take the soon-to-be star quarterback. Mahomes wasn't even widely considered one of the best two passers in his class, and he had to watch nine other players - including quarterback Mitch Trubisky - get selected before him.
But according to Mahomes' agent, Leigh Steinberg, the Chiefs had significant competition for his services, which motivated them to give up the significant haul of picks - No. 27, No. 91, and a 2018 first-rounder - to jump up ahead of a host of interested teams.
"The draft prognosticators are projecting things, and if you recall, they had anointed this trio of Trubisky, (Deshaun) Watson, and DeShone Kizer, and they were considered the top-round quarterbacks," Steinberg told ESPN's Adam Teicher. "At the beginning, they had Patrick at best a second-rounder.
"Everybody publicly was saying he was years away from being ready to play, but teams were communicating with us, and we were aware Kansas City liked him very much. We were also aware there were a number of other teams that liked him, teams like the Arizona Cardinals, the New York Giants, the New Orleans Saints, the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were teams that would try to make the move a year early to try to prepare their next starting QB.
"We're sitting there on the night of the draft, and there's communication going back and forth between teams and agents. It's not something you see, but we're on our phones talking with coaches and general managers. We were aware of certain teams that said they were trying to trade up. If Kansas City hadn't gone exactly where they went, he would have been gone. He would have been gone on the very next pick."
Steinberg was likely correct, as the Saints owned the next pick. The Cardinals sat at 13th, the Giants 23rd, and the Steelers 30th.
Then-Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, now in charge of the Cleveland Browns, revealed after the draft that he, too, felt Mahomes would be gone by No. 10 at the latest.
"I tried to read as much as I could, in terms of reading the other 31 teams and seeing where they were positioning," Dorsey said. "I felt to get this player, I had to be at 10."