While Tom Brady and Drew Brees continue to stave off Father Time, the future of the quarterback position in the NFL is in good hands.
Even Patrick Mahomes knows what's up. pic.twitter.com/xRxfzksC2n
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 27, 2019
Three of the six quarterbacks who participated in Sunday’s Pro Bowl were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Mitch Trubisky (2nd overall), Patrick Mahomes (10th), and Deshaun Watson (12th) have gone from first-round picks to Pro Bowl quarterbacks in two professional seasons, showcasing the skills that made them first-rounders in the first place. Of course, they weren’t always viewed as sure-fire, first-round selections, and each player has made it known that they haven’t forgotten where they came from and how much they’ve grown since draft day.
“So many people said it wasn’t a strong quarterback class,” Trubisky said, via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. Watson chimed in saying he remembered those sentiments, too: “We all remember that,” Watson told the Tribune. “Patrick has said it. Mitch has said it. I’ve said it. And we all put that in the back of our heads, went to work, and started grinding. … The whole time leading up to that draft, no one thought we would be where we’re at now. Especially after Year 2.” Their memories serve them well.
DeShone Kizer was viewed as the top draft-eligible quarterback by NFL Network draft guru (now Raiders front office member) Mike Mayock, with Watson, Trubisky, and Mahomes trailing. In mid-February, Mel Kiper Jr. released a mock draft where Mahomes wasn’t even a first-round selection. In an April mock draft, Daniel Jeremiah had Watson going in the second round. As for Trubisky, he was rarely publicly linked to the Bears, a team many believed would have their eyes on a defensive standout like LSU safety Jamal Adams or Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. So, yeah, plenty of folks didn’t see this coming, which makes it that much better that each is doing big things for their respective teams.
Being selected to the Pro Bowl is a humble first step toward that trio – Trubisky, Watson, and Mahomes – validating their place in the league. And judging by how seriously they’re going about things, this is just the beginning.