MIAMI ― Patrick Mahomes could be under center for the 49ers instead of the Chiefs in Super Bowl 54 Sunday had they not had their eye on a free-agent quarterback they never landed.
The Niners owned the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL draft. They had no idea just three years into his career, Mahomes would have won one Most Valuable Player award and thrown 50 touchdowns in a season.
“I didn't look into him obviously as much as I should have," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. "We definitely looked into him, studied all of his tape. Was just a freak, could make any throw, had the ability to do anything.
“That was a little bit different situation for us. We had the second pick in the draft, did not feel like from all the intel that you get and stuff that he was going go that high.”
Mahomes went No. 10 overall to Kansas City. At the time, the 49ers had their eye on former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, who wound up signing with the Vikings. Shanahan once was the Cousins’ offensive coordinator in Washington.
“It’s pretty well documented of just the relationship I had with Kirk being in Washington and I felt very confident that he wasn’t going to stay there,” Shanahan said. “So anytime you go into a season knowing that a franchise quarterback was going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at.”
The 49ers used the No. 3 overall pick to select defensive end Solomon Thomas. Cousins signed with Minnesota, and Mahomes will lineup against the 49ers at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.