On the morning of April 27, 2017, FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt went to breakfast at a local hotel in Philadelphia. Klatt was in the City of Brotherly Love covering the 2017 NFL Draft, with the first round scheduled to begin later that night.
When he walked into the hotel restaurant, Klatt saw former Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden, who was working for ESPN at the time. Gruden was also enjoying a meal and invited Klatt to sit with him and engage in conversation about the upcoming draft.
“He started asking me about all the players I had covered in college football that were in that draft, and finally he asked me what I thought. [Patrick] Muhammad,” Klatt said on the latest episode of his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Show.“”I gave him my answer…and he just nods, and then says, ‘Andy [Reid] he takes it with the 10th pick.”
Reid, who at the time was entering his fifth year as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, was coming off a 12-4 season that concluded with an AFC Divisional Round loss to Pittsburgh Steelers. The team had former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith under center, but Gruden said Reid had a special feeling about Mahomes, who starred at Texas Tech from 2014-16, because he reminded him of a former quarterback in defense with guns trained earlier in his career.
“‘Everybody we touched [Brett] Favre, that’s what we see in Mahomes,’” Klatt recalled Gruden saying.
Looking back at Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes in college
Joel Klatt looks back on covering Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech and relives a memorable story ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
Both Gruden and Reid were members of the Green Bay Packers coaching staff in the early to mid-1990s, while Favre enjoyed the best seasons of his storied NFL career. Gruden served as an offensive assistant for the Packers during the 1992 NFL season, then as the team’s wide receivers coach from 1993 to 1994. Meanwhile, Reid was hired as an assistant line coach offensive line and tight ends coach in 1992 and served in that role until 1996. He went on to become the team’s quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach from 1997-98.
Both coaches worked closely with Favre during his time in Green Bay, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame QB was named NFL MVP in three straight seasons from 1995-1997, while helping lead the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXI.
It was clear that both saw a lot of similarities between Favre and Mahomes, which Klatt said was not a common comparison up until that point.
“From that point on, I started thinking to myself, ‘This guy’s going to work out,'” Klatt said of Mahomes. “It’s been that style of guy, that same shooter mentality that allowed Favre to have so much success, winning a Super Bowl, winning MVP. That’s what we see from Patrick Mahomes.”
Reid was spot on with his assessment, as Mahomes just led the Chiefs to a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, and is now set to face Philadelphia Eagles a Super Bowl LVII at Arizona (Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).
Kansas City Chiefs
This marks Mahomes’ third Super Bowl appearance in six NFL seasons. He has led the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC Championship games and was named NFL MVP in 2018. Meanwhile, Favre led the Packers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances in his sixth and seventh NFL seasons with the Packers, while he was named. the league MVP three years in a row from 1995-97.
It’s a comparison Klatt remembers vividly to this day.
“The first time my light bulb went off was that morning I had breakfast with Jon Gruden,” Klatt said.
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