Few teams in NFL history have had better picks in consecutive drafts than the Chiefs.
In 2016, the Chiefs selected wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the fifth round. He’s since been named an All-Pro four times and is on pace this year to shatter the record for receiving yards in a season.
A year later, the Chiefs traded up and drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who already has won the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards twice.
During his weekly conversation on KCSP (610 AM), Mahomes was asked how important Hill was early in his career. Mahomes said Hill’s work ethic rubbed off on him.
“He’s extremely important, man,” Mahomes said. “I mean you still see it to this day, the way he’s able to win one on one and just make plays happen. Everybody sees the physical, the speed and how he’s able to go and make the catches and stuff like that. But I don’t think everybody sees how hard that man works. He’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever been around.
“And as a young guy to see a guy that’s that talented work that hard, it kind of put a stamp on me to go out there and continue to work hard. And so I’m happy for Tyreek, man, he’s had a hell of a season so far this year and he had one last year. It’ll be a great matchup for us to go up against that football team.”
The Chiefs traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins ahead of the 2022 season, and the teams will meet this Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany. Kansas City received five draft picks* for Hill, and the Chiefs used them to bring in new players, many on defense.
*Fun fact: The Chiefs ended up trading all five of those picks
Mahomes said the trade was a win for both teams.
“I’m happy for him that he got to a place where he’s close to his family,” Mahomes said. “He got to make a lot of money and he’s still going out there and competing every single week and dominating the NFL, man. And so I’m happy for him, and obviously we had our success this last year and are having a pretty great season this (year) so far.
“And so it’s rare in the NFL for it to work for both sides. But I’m glad it did, because like I said, he’s one of my brothers.”
Mahomes said he talks with Hill on occasion, although not as much during the season because both are so busy.
“We still have a good relationship man. He was a brother to me,” Mahomes said. “He helped me have a lot of great times in Kansas City, not only on the field but off of it as well and kind of welcomed me into the culture that the Chiefs had before I even got here. And so I’ll always be rooting for him and hopefully he’s gonna go out there and put up 2,000 receiving yards, just hopefully not a lot of them are on us.”
Mahomes was asked for his most memorable pass to Hill, and some might think it was the Jet Chip Wasp in Super Bowl LIV. Or maybe the long touchdown in the 13-second playoff game against the Bills.
Instead, Mahomes pointed to the fourth-down pass against Baltimore at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in 2018.
The Chiefs trailed late and faced a fourth down when Mahomes connected with Hill on a 48-yard completion with less than 2 minutes to play. The Chiefs ended up scoring a touchdown to force overtime and won in the extra period.
Mahomes rolls out and finds Tyreek Hill on 4th down pic.twitter.com/Kss4g8gFfI
— Heart of NFL (@HeartofNFL) December 10, 2018
“Just for him to know the situation — running to the right and just looking and seeing Tyreek and just kind of put it out there to let him try and make a play,” Mahomes said. “And him coming back to the ball … he wasn’t even 100% healthy that game.
“It just speaks to the type of competitor that he is, that he would battle through little stuff like that to go out there and be there for his teammates, and I respect that about his game.”