Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and quarterback Alex Smith (11) study tablets on the bench during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

When the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes, Alex Smith wasn’t naive. Despite playing some of the best football of his career, he knew the writing was on the wall.

Smith joined The Pat McAfee Show, which was live from Salt Lake City Friday (College GameDay is in Utah for Utah-Oregon), and spoke candidly about his feelings regarding Kansas City’s decision to draft Mahomes. Smith said “What the [heck] were they thinking” was going on his mind when the Chiefs selected Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

He said so with a smile, though.

“Listen, I mean obviously I knew when they drafted him, time was running [out]. At that point anyway, I was in my 13th year,” Smith said. “You’re not guaranteed anything. If I hadn’t played good football, they were going to find somebody that could. And so, I knew had that year to kind of make the most of it. Ended up having a great season, and obviously, couldn’t get it done in the playoffs, which was kind of the story of my time in Kansas City, right? A lot of great regular season wins, but couldn’t quite get it done in the playoffs, so they decided to make the change.”

In Smith’s final season in Kansas City, the University of Utah product made 15 starts (9-6 record) and completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 4,042 yards with 26 touchdowns against five interceptions. In the playoffs that season, the Chiefs were sent home by Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans in a 22-21 defeat, which marked their sixth straight home playoff loss, the worst mark in NFL history.

Smith knew that Mahomes would eventually replace him, as the Texas Tech product continued to show more and more in practice as the season went on.

“I think at the back half of that year…you started to see, like all of a sudden he’s making these no-look passes across the middle,” Smith said. “He’s running the scout team. And I’ll never forget Eric Berry coming up to me, he’s like, ‘Hey man, you gotta come see this throw that he made.’ And literally, he’s throwing 20-yard dig routes across the middle, no-looking guys. Just a rare, rare talent. And then I think for me, the work ethic. That’s the thing no one talks about. Pat’s obviously a unique talent, but great ethic, great character, and an immense competitor.”

Smith said when he looked at it like that, it was only a matter of time until Mahomes replaced him.

“He’s relentless,” he said.

The two Super Bowls and two league MVPs certainly would point to that being the case.

[The Pat McAfee Show]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.