ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs has watched Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a while now, and he believes if Mahomes continues at his current pace, he might be at the top of multiple NFL all-time lists by the time he retires.
That even means snapping marks that could end up being held by the quarterback he believes to be the best in NFL history.
“To me, Tom Brady is going to be the best ever for my whole life, that’s just how it is,” Diggs said. “But the way Pat’s going, he’s going to break every record in NFL history if he keeps this up.
“I love it, though. A Texas guy and I always brag about Texas football in here, so, you know, I’m cool with that. As long as it’s not against us.”
Anything Mahomes gets this weekend will be against Diggs and the Lions, who face him for the first time. Since the start of last season, Mahomes has thrown for 6,292 yards and 60 touchdowns with a passer rating of 117.3 and 9.07 yards per attempt — all tops in the NFL over the past 20 games.
Diggs called what Mahomes is doing “magical,” and that he does everything — from the sidearm throws to the no-look passes and the contested throws in tight windows with his arm strength.
Diggs said he always knew Mahomes, the NFL’s Most Valuable Player last year, had the potential. He faced him when Diggs played at Texas and could see it then.
“You could see it when he was at [Texas] Tech,” Diggs said. “Just the moxie he had when he was in the pocket, picking apart defenses. Like I said, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve never been surprised with anything he’s done because he’s an athlete first of all, baseball player, basketball player, all that. He can do it all, and like I said, I’m just proud he’s doing it at the highest level.”
Mahomes and Diggs have mutual friends and have had conversations in the past — Diggs said Mahomes reached out when he was named a Pro Bowl alternate last season — and that they’ve long since squashed the big hit Diggs laid on Mahomes in 2014 that knocked the quarterback out of the game.
“At the end of the day, it was six years ago,” Diggs said. “He’s the MVP. I’m in my fifth year in the league. It is what it is. We just go out and compete. Me and Pat are good friends, and at the end of the day, it’s just football.”
Asked if he expected there to be any lingering tension on Sunday stemming from that hit, Mahomes replied, “I don’t know if it was an issue. He just kind of knocked me out. He’s a great player, Quandre. I’m actually friends with him now.
“It’s something where in the heat of the moment there might have been a little issue, but when it comes to football, we’re still guys that come from Texas that love playing this game.”
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.