Comparing Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Patrick Mahomes II
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Patrick Mahomes II /
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What can Kansas City Chiefs’ fans expect from Patrick Mahomes given the comparison between Donovan McNabb and Alex Smith?

By now, every single diehard Kansas City Chiefs’ fan has likely watched some or all of Patrick Mahomes’ highlights while playing at Texas Tech. If you have, you know there was no shortage of spectacular plays. However, past success does not necessarily indicate future success. This is even more certain when discussing college quarterbacks transitioning to the NFL.

Many believe it is ultimately the player in question who is responsible for his success. While the player, his talent, and his mentality are important, there is another factor that could arguably be more integral.

Most top-notch college quarterbacks end up transitioning into the NFL through organizations on a downward spiral. These may be organizations whose short-term coach has not been successful and his last shot is a top-ten pick, who hopefully is a quarterback. Or, they may be organizations on the rebound with a new coaching staff and new direction, but little in the way of track record.

This is where we acknowledge the ever-critical factor that arguably plays the biggest role in a young quarterback’s development: the system. Mahomes has the good fortune of walking into arguable one of the best and most consistent systems in the NFL. You may say that Andy Reid has a history of conservatism, poor clock management, etc. You would be correct, but you’d also have to acknowledge the fact that Reid has shown a proclivity for getting the best out of his players.

Every coach has their faults, and Reid is no exception. But, Mahomes has a spectacular place to start his career when compared to most young quarterbacks. With this in mind, let’s take a look back at Reid’s longest tenured quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb and Alex Smith, in the hopes that we might predict the success Mahomes will have in 2018.