The stunning trade that sent quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs to the Washington Redskins has put Mahomes in the spotlight, and Kelce, a close friend of Smith's, provided his thoughts on the trade.
"It's awkward, it's awkward; I honestly don't know how to really accept it," Kelce said on The Rich Eisen Show. "My entire career, you can't say Travis Kelce without Alex Smith. He's been my quarterback, he's been the guy. I owe a lot of my success to him.
"So it's going to be awkward going into a huddle, like I said, with anybody but Alex, but I know Pat is ready for the opportunity. He's taken a lot of mental reps and a lot of notes from Alex on how this thing should be run. Alex ran it to an absolute T this past season and, obviously, everyone's excited to see what (Mahomes) can do."
Asked if the Chiefs could win a championship with Mahomes as their quarterback, Kelce told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano and Brian Billick on Super Bowl Live: "Yeah, without a doubt. I feel like Patty Cakes can come in and roll the dice on anybody. He can throw the ball any way, he can throw it off his back foot and he can jump and throw, he can throw the ball anywhere, any way you need for it to be thrown. His confidence is definitely one of the best attributes to his game."
Will the transition be seamless?
"That's where you kind of have to bite your tongue," Kelce said. "He's still, like (Billick) was saying here, he's still arguably a rookie. I'm not saying that I'm taking away from his ability by any means because if anyone can do it, it's Patrick Mahomes."