The Kansas City Chiefs won’t know for a while if the decision to trade up in the NFL draft this past spring to select Patrick Mahomes was a good choice.

If Charcandrick West‘s first impressions of the rookie quarterback mean anything, though, it appears the Chiefs selected at the very least an impressive piece of clay to mold.


“Man, this kid can throw the football,” the Chiefs running back said of the team’s newest quarterback on NFL Total Access on Friday. “Man, I mean, I ran I think a slant route and I was like, woah. It was crazy. He’s got a cannon on him.”

The quarterback relationship between Mahomes and Alex Smith over the next several months will be one of the more intriguing storylines to follow in the NFL. On one hand, Smith has been the steady incumbent who’s led the Chiefs to 11- and 12-win seasons over the past two years. On the other, Smith often takes the brunt of the blame for the Chiefs failing to advance in the playoffs, mostly because his lack of arm strength and propensity to check the football down.

The theory, of course, is that a strong-armed gunslinger like Mahomes could provide more home-run plays, and thus help lift the Chiefs past the divisional round of the playoffs that they’ve lost in the last two seasons.

Mahomes has a long way to go to make that idea a reality. Eventually supplanting a starter like Smith won’t be an easy chore. But when a veteran running back like West, who’s caught hundreds of balls from Smith, has that kind of reaction to seeing a new, more live arm in camp, perhaps the usurping at quarterback isn’t that far off.

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