Already drafted once, Patrick Mahomes is set to be drafted for the second time in his lifetime this upcoming April. First, he was an MLB draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round back in 2014 as a pitcher. Instead of following in his father’s footsteps of playing baseball, Mahomes elected to take his talents to the gridiron rather than the baseball diamond.
If you watched Mahomes at all throughout the past 2 years, chances are you were struck in awe at his pure arm talent and ability to make big plays as he engineered Texas Tech’s air-raid offense. Mahomes is the youngest QB in FBS history to surpass 5,000 yards in a single season. He’s flashy, brings that “it” factor and is by far the most fun to watch in 2017’s QB class.
With his flashy playing style comes a downside. Mahomes is far from a polished QB and plays with “reckless abandonment” at times – he’s a bit of a double edged sword. However, he presents monumental upside, and if drafted into the right situation, could emerge as the best gunslinger out of this weak class when we look back in a few years. Is he worth the risk?
Name: Patrick Mahomes II
School: Texas Tech
Draft Grade: Late 2nd Round
Positives: Arm talent and upside is evident. Great arm strength even when throwing off his back foot. Excels at throwing the ball in windows over the middle of the field. Doesn’t shy away from taking the deep heave and throws a nice deep ball with good velocity. Can cut it loose. Puts good zip on his passes. Can deliver good off balance throws. Takes advantage of corners when they have their back turned. Completes passes even with big contact. Ability to escape pressure, keep the play alive and improvise is second to none. Lethal combination of strength and athleticism to move around and break tackles. Quick feet on the run. Redzone weapon who can run it in if nothing is open via the pass. Great ball recognition and will switch ball into closer hand to reach for the pylon. Doesn’t take many sacks and will get rid of the ball. Team captain. Will only be 22 years old as a rookie.
Negatives: Throws off back foot on nearly all of his throws which forces a wobbly pass at times. Lofts/floats the ball downfield into traffic. Inconsistent accuracy. Overthrows deep ball more often than you’d like to see. Will underthrow receivers and throw away from them in all phases of the field. Footwork needs a lot of work – needs to settle down as it looks too jittery or stiff. Doesn’t always set his feet even when he has the time. Mechanics also demand improvement – very wide delivery. High release forces downfield passes to float at times. Will throw across/away his body on the run. Tends to go with a sidearm release on occasion. Flawed decision making. Will try to force throws and make too much happen. Some his passes into traffic make you scratch your head. Rarely works inside the pocket and looks to move around. Overuses improvisation skills. Tries to make too much happen when faced with pressure and will run back even further, resulting in a bigger loss of yards. Sometimes struggles on the handoff exchange and doesn’t look natural. Doesn’t sell the play action well and looks lackadaisical when doing so.
Outlook: Perhaps the toughest QB to gauge this year is Patrick Mahomes. He brings a dynamic style of play, but there are far too many screws that he needs to tighten up in his transition to the NFL. For starters, he needs vast improvement on both his mechanics and footwork. I’d like to see him set himself inside the pocket. While he is a phenomenal improviser, all the running around he does won’t always work at the next level. Still, he has tremendous potential, and while he won’t be a year one starter, he gives NFL coaches a lot to work with at a fairly young age. The “backyard football QB” label he’s garnered is pretty spot on. He plays like a ballhog in basketball. I think he is quite similar to Russell Wilson on the field, then you factor in the baseball backgrounds – Mahomes has that type of upside, but he brings a big risk factor as well.