Is Patrick Mahomes the Michael Jordan of the NFL?

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager thinks Patrick Mahomes is the closest thing the NFL has to Michael Jordan. Is he onto something or totally off-base?

Is Patrick Mahomes the NFL’s version of Michael Jordan?

On Tuesday, Peter Schrager explained to his Good Morning Football colleagues on the NFL Network how Mahomes is the closest thing the NFL has to Jordan. Mahomes is only entering his fourth year in the league out of Texas Tech University, but has already won NFL MVP and Super Bowl 54 MVP in his first two seasons as a starter. Is Schrager onto something of totally off-base?

Here are his five reasons why he believes Mahomes is the nearest NFL approximation to Jordan.

  1. Silenced the critics early on
  2. Overcoming obstacles of previous failures
  3. Saves his best for the big stage
  4. Insane vision
  5. Relentless intensity

Nate Burleson says he agrees with three of Schrager’s five points. He sees the grace with which Mahomes plays and it does remind him of Jordan. However, he likens Mahomes more to LeBron James for his vision as a passer than he does Jordan.

Kyle Brandt questions if Mahomes has the dog in him like Jordan did to go after teammates relentlessly. Will Mahomes eventually berate one of his Kansas City teammates like Jordan did to Steve Kerr or Scott Burrell in Chicago to hopefully get the most out of them.

Kay Adams wonders if Mahomes winning a Super Bowl in his second year as a starter has made him a star on-par with Jordan after winning his first NBA Championship in 1991 or two years later after his first three-peat in 1993? Aren’t Super Bowls and NBA Finals weighed the same?

So are the Mahomes to Jordan comparisons premature, ahead of the curve, spot-on or entirely off-base? There’s an argument to be made for all four viewpoints, but it really depends on how you want to go about comparing the two star athletes.

At this cross-section of their careers, you can say Mahomes is way ahead of Jordan. Mahomes won a Super Bowl in year three out of Texas Tech, while Jordan didn’t win his first NBA Championship until year seven out of North Carolina. However, Mahomes still needs to win five more championships to get on Jordan and Tom Brady‘s level historically. He has time, though.

As for collegiate comparisons, both played three years at their respective schools. Mahomes wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school because college teams thought he’d play baseball like his big league father, Pat Mahomes. Jordan went to a national powerhouse in North Carolina, but didn’t become a top recruit until his junior year of high school.

Jordan achieved so much more in college than Mahomes. While Jordan won an NCAA Tournament during his time in Chapel Hill, Mahomes played for mostly sub-.500 teams in relative obscurity down in Lubbock. Then again, both found their way to being top-10 picks in their respective sports. Their entry points in the league were about the same.

As for as personality, Mahomes isn’t like Jordan, nor is he like James. He’s more like Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors than anything. Mahomes isn’t as ruthless of a competitor as Jordan, nor is he as much of a fan of himself as James is. As far as we know, Mahomes doesn’t have “Chosen 1” tattooed across his shoulder blades. He doesn’t seem to thrive on pettiness either.

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Overall, Mahomes is some combination of Curry, James and Jordan in the NFL. The collection of refined skill, raw talent and non-stop winning makes him a generational player akin to those three NBA superstars. He feels more like Curry than the other two, but not by much. Brady’s win at all costs mantra is more similar to Jordan’s.

Over time, maybe Mahomes does get there? Just not yet.