GetUp ESPN proposed the following question: “If you could redraft every football player that’s ever played the game, who are you taking No. 1 overall?” With a plethora of athletes to consider over the entire history of the NFL, I had an incredibly tough choice to make. However, I could immediately start to trim the list down significantly. By the end of my thought process, I came to one clear choice. That choice is Patrick Mahomes.
First, let’s consider time periods. It’s no secret that modern medicine and strength/conditioning practices have continued to evolve. Nowadays, players are faster, stronger, and more agile than ever before. I’m not discounting the tremendous abilities of past athletes, but I think current players are more athletically gifted than those of the past. Thus, I looked to select a modern athlete.
Now, everyone wants to jump to a certain position right away. One important thing to note before even debating position selection is mentality/leadership. My selection needs to be athletically gifted, but if they can’t lead their team to victory, what good are they? The player needs to have a killer mentality and be able to stay dialed in during the biggest situations. My #1 pick needs to be able to build up the team by setting a great example and motivating others. I believe that this cuts the list in half because not every stud is a leader.
Let’s jump into positions now. While it would be amazing to have a stud WR or an elite CB, are these positions really going to galvanize a roster? I think you can narrow down the viable positions to just two: QB and DE. I chose one position from each side of the ball. A powerful QB is your offensive leader, and he directs the entire team. He commands the offense, and he makes the decisions. It’s as much a talent position as it is a leadership position. Also, I like the idea of a lethal pass rusher, as well. If you are able to shred offensive lines, then you make the opposing offense much weaker. You will command a lot of attention, and it makes the entire defense much more lethal.
In the end, I chose QB as my position. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and it’s impossible to have success without a dynamic, playmaking quarterback. The quarterback is the focal-point of the team, and he can make or break the team. Name the last team you can think of with a Super Bowl victory without a sensational QB. The QB is the “man with the plan,” and this position decides everything for the team.
When you add together leadership and ability – and need it to be in a modern QB – you get Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has mobility, arm strength, leadership capabilities, a determined mentality, and many other incredible assets. In just three years in the NFL, Mahomes has a Super-Bowl victory, two Pro-Bowl nominations, and an MVP award. He won the Super Bowl during his worst season as a starting QB. That’s right – his worst season!
Mahomes is a leader, and he’s respected by not only his teammates but the entire league. Mahomes commands attention from opposing defenses, and he can get the job done with both his arms and legs. He’s a prolific athlete, and I doubt he has even reached his prime. Some will say that it’s a little premature to make him the #1 selection, but Mahomes’ sample size has proved he can be a lethal and generational threat. For all the reasons listed above, I’ll select Patrick Mahomes.