Patrick Mahomes might have the highest ceiling of any of the quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL draft. As soon as I turned on his tape for the first time in December, I was intrigued. It didn’t take long to identify that he has the skill-set to not only become a highly productive starter but also the ability to develop into a franchise quarterback.
His size, arm strength, accuracy, ability to read the defense, ability to navigate the pocket (while keeping his eyes up the field), his pocket presence and his quick release are already fantastic. From discussions I’ve had with my “sources”, the feeling is that somebody is going to draft Mahomes in the first round. Regardless of where he’s selected, he will need to sit for a season where he’ll lean more consistent mechanics. His coaches will also have to help him reign in his college mindset of needing to be the hero on 3rd downs or forcing some throws when they are down big.
His ability to read the defense and manipulate safeties is an under-rated part of his game. I feel it’s one of his best strengths that doesn’t have to do with his arm. What I often see from him is quick decisions on throws to all levels of the field because he has identified where he needs to go with the ball before the snap. This is more than just a reflection of the “hot read”, it’s a reflection of his ability to process the game quickly and read the defense. The college game doesn’t move too fast for him, regardless of the opponent, and if what I’ve read and been told about his attitude and desire to be great are indeed true, this young man has a chance to be special.
Patrick Mahomes checks all the following boxes:
· 3:1 TD to INT ratio (77 TD/ 25 INT) over last two seasons
· Attempted 1164 passes over last two seasons
· Completed 752 passes (64%) over last two seasons
· Totaled 9600 yards (over 8.2 YPA) over last two seasons
· Completed 61.5% of all passes on 3rd down over last two seasons
If that isn’t enough, in nearly any game you turn on you can’t help but walk away with a dozen or more “WOW!” throws that leave you amazed at not only his arm talent but his placement and ability to read the defense.
Is he perfect? No.
Does he play in the “Air Raid” system that is predominately running 0 or 10 personnel – the spread offense? Yes.
Was he encouraged / coached to trust his arm and try to make big plays? Yes.
Does he attempt some risky throws and some make risky decisions that won’t work on Sundays? Yes.
All the while, his ability to “freelance” was one of his strengths and certainly wasn’t being coached out of him while at Texas Tech. Still, if harnessed correctly, these qualities can become something extremely beneficial at the next level. He’s had a few games where he doesn’t resemble the same QB that you see in his other games (injuries could explain these - wrist, shoulder, knee - all of which he played through). It’s no secret that he has to work on his throwing mechanics and footwork which can cause him to lose accuracy on a small sample of throws. But at the end of the day, Patrick Mahomes is oozing with talent, and not just arm talent. He’s an extremely smart young man who will still be 21 years old at the time the 2017 NFL season begins. When the combine comes around this spring, he’s sure to put on a show in a number of areas. My best guess is that he’ll come in around 6’3” and 225-230lbs; will have one of the largest hands among the participating QB’s; and will register the fastest speed on the radar gun.
Draft Grade - First Round
- Arm strength
- Quick release
- Accuracy + placement
- Size – height / frame
- Athleticism / mobility
- Playmaking ability
- Pre-snap read / reading the defense
- Pocket Poise / footwork
Last shot of the day of Patrick Mahomes. Really good dude. Total sponge when it comes to offense. Told me he just "wants to be coached." pic.twitter.com/PoWG7mEUmn— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) February 9, 2017
- Inconsistent mechanics
- Hips not always balanced
- Throws off back foot at times
- “Hero ball” mentality
The most interesting thing, to me at least, about Patrick Mahomes is how much he knows he needs to work on his mechanics and footwork— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) February 10, 2017
Mahomes 2015 Game Log:
Mahomes 2016 Game Log:
Averaged TD / INT Ratios:
Averaged 3rd Down Completion Percentages:
Averaged 3rd Down and 7-9 Completion Percentages:
Mahomes picked up a 1st down on 45.2% of his 3rd & 7+ passes. Best out of 28 draft-eligible FBS QBs I ran numbers for https://t.co/kqgAvjcJ3V— Justin Higdon (@afc2nfc) February 8, 2017
1st down conversion % on 3rd&long passes (7+ yd) this year— Justin Higdon (@afc2nfc) December 31, 2016
Mahomes 2015 Situational Passing:
Mahomes 2016 Situational Passing:
This was really cool. Patrick Mahomes drew up and explained his favorite 3rd & long play at Texas Tech pic.twitter.com/3iz84MVw1m— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) February 8, 2017
Patrick Mahomes working on his 7 step drop with long-time NFL QB coach Mike Sheppard pic.twitter.com/RWfEQFjjl4— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) February 9, 2017
2015 Games watched: Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas State, LSU, Oklahoma St., TCU, Texas and West Virginia
2016 Games Watched: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma, and TCU
Oklahoma State #13
RECORD SETTER - 734 yards | 5TD / 1 INT | 88 attempts | 145 QBR
From the Cleveland Browns perspective, I was quite surprised with our selection of Cody Kessler last year, mostly because it was followed with the infamous “trust me” quote from Hue Jackson. Mahomes isn’t just an acquired taste, and selecting him won’t require any sort of statement aside from “turn on the tape, he’s the QB we’ve been waiting for.” And assuming the Cleveland front office values and sees the same things I see in this film room / analysis, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where we pluck him off the board with our #12 pick - if he’s even there.
In speaking with some of my “sources” it’s also not hard to imagine a scenario where the top 4 QB’s in this year’s draft (Mahomes, Watson, Kizer & Trubisky) come off of the board in any order. The one constant that I’ve been told is that they all need or should sit for at least a year before starting.
The draft combinations are endless, but if the Browns go Garrett at 1 and Solomon Thomas at 12 (I’ll admit, that’s a scenario I have dreamed about) my best guess is that they’re either going to have to come back up into the first to get Mahomes or hope that teams like the Bears, Jets, Bills, Chargers, Saints, Cardinals, Chiefs or Patriots don’t pull the trigger on Mahomes ahead of our pick at 33. Given how deep this class is on the defensive side of the ball, and assuming Mahomes is there at 12, I say you pull the trigger on him and don’t look back. To me, he is the best QB in this draft class.
I see a mix of Rodgers, Stafford, Brady, Farve and (gulp) Rothelisberger in his game. If I’m the Browns front office this offseason I’m keeping all of our draft picks, staying FAR away from the Jimmy Garoppolo trap, and trying to sign Tyrod Taylor if possible. Next, I’m drafting Mahomes with the understanding that he’s going to sit and develop for a year or maybe two. Then I’m sitting back and enjoying my return on investment for the next 10 to 15 years which should hopefully include multiple division titles, playoff berths and an eventual run at the Super Bowl.
The Mahomes Express has left the station.
Jump on while you still can Browns fans.
He’s the real deal.