Patrick Mahomes II could end up being the best quarterback out of the 2017 NFL Draft class.
Patrick Mahomes (6-2, 225 pounds) is a 21-year-old from Tyler, Texas. He played college football at Texas Tech, where he passed for 11,252 yards over three years. He actually started out as a backup to another 2017 quarterback prospect, Davis Webb. When Webb got injured, Mahomes made his mark and won the starting job. In 2016, he tied the NCAA record for most passing yards in a game with 734 yards versus Oklahoma. In the same game, he rushed for 85 yards and broke the record for most yards from scrimmage in a game. At the 2017 NFL Combine, he had a 60 mph throw, the fastest ever recorded. His father is former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes, and for his first two years at Texas Tech, Mahomes II played both baseball and football. He decided to quit baseball for his senior year and focus on football. That resulted in over 5,000 passing yards and a 65+ completion percentage. On 591 attempts, he only threw 10 interceptions.
That’s who Patrick Mahomes is – on the surface. Now, let’s find out who he is on the field.
Gets Out of Trouble
This might be my favorite Patrick Mahomes play. It’s 3rd & 12. His initial read fails, and most college quarterbacks would just take the sack and move on. Not Pat. Notice how he makes a hand motion as he guides his receiver inside while being under serious pressure. Then he somehow manages to get out of the Oklahoma player’s grasp, quickly regains balance and turns his head down the field again. A perfect pass with touch and anticipation. First down.
Other players with his arm strength would just throw this as hard as possible, but Mahomes sees that he has to give his receiver a little more time. That separates him from “big arm” players like Logan Thomas and Ryan Mallett, who struggles with touch and accuracy. Mahomes’ accuracy is actually one of his best traits.
Big Arm and Accuracy
Here’s another big play against Oklahoma, where he shows off his big arm and accuracy. A 40-yard bomb straight in the bucket, not an inch off target. These are the types of plays you can expect from peak Patrick Mahomes. Still, people find ways to criticize this exact play. “Bad throwing motion”. Or, let’s call it “weird technique”. And it is. Mahomes’ footwork is all over the place, and his throwing motion is unnecessarily long sometimes. That would be unacceptable if he’s inaccurate or turnover prone, but Patrick Mahomes isn’t. I’ll take a rough diamond over a nice rock any day of the week.
I haven’t even talked about what he’s best at: throwing in motion. Patrick Mahomes is a solid passer in the pocket, but he shines when the play breaks down. This is another play where the plan goes down the drain and Mahomes has to freestyle. He makes the most of it – again. He gets out of the pocket, but instead of running for the first down marker, he keeps his eyes open and finds his receiver. This is probably the most typical Patrick Mahomes play you’ll find. He just loves to freestyle.
It’s easy to see some Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers in him. In the play above he steps up in the pocket, and throws a perfect dart to his receiver for a touchdown – just out of the defenders reach. Almost perfect placement.
Look at the pass again, and pay close attention to his feet. He is in the air when he throws the ball. The throw is all arm and it’s almost perfect. My point is: think what this player can be if he’s coached properly. Imagine how perfect his throws can be if he learns how to place his feet and shortens his throwing motion.
There are flaws in his game. He pulls the trigger on throws that are doomed to fail, and his footwork and technique make some throws float way over his intended target. However, all of his flaws can be corrected. He has the accuracy, he has the brain, and he has the arm. If you’re looking for upside, Patrick Mahomes is your guy.
In this quarterback class, he is a dirty diamond among shiny rocks. Who would you pick?