We are just a couple weeks away from the draft and there still isn’t a top consensus quarterback among this year’s class. At this point, it’s honestly a two man race between Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky.
This guy isn’t the best prospect of the group, but Patrick Mahomes II of Texas Tech University is the one QB I’d take a chance on and happily live with the results regardless of the outcome. He’s far from being a polished prospect, but his skill set offers you a lot of reasons to believe that he might be the one to buck the trend of Texas Tech and Air Raid quarterbacks.
Mahomes’ arm talent is absolutely ridiculous. He can make any throw from any angle and that pass will have enough power and accuracy to get where it’s going.
Of course, this type of arm talent is a gift and curse. Mahomes has thrown 93 touchdowns to 29 interceptions in his college career and a chunk of those interceptions comes from him believing he can make any and every throw. And there isn’t anything wrong with. To be a quarterback in the NFL you have to be very confident and even have a certain level of arrogance to succeed. You think Aaron Rodgers, Jameis Winston or Big Ben Roethlisberger second guess themselves when you see them breaking the pocket and making a crazy throw into a tight window? Absolutely not.
Mike Mayock (and others) have compared Mahomes to Jay Cutler and I don’t have an issue with that. Cutler has always been extremely physically talented with the rock in his hand. So much talent, that for years I’ve always thought of him as the anti-Aaron Rodgers. I guess the comparison stemmed from Rodgers being in Green Bay and Cutler being in Chicago (rivals) and that there are certain throws that can only be made by about 5 quarterbacks in the NFL when it comes to arm strength and throwing on the run, and these guys are 2 of them. But for all the physical talent Cutler (like Rodgers has), Cutler never put it together mentally. And that’s what you’ll have to question Mahomes most about. Bad mechanics aren’t an issue until it’s an issue. Will Mahomes be able to clean up his decision making or will his career be spent relying on talent?
I enjoy looking at Mahomes Draft Breakdown videos because some of his most fun plays are the ones that ended with an incompletion or an interception. Mahomes is good ditching a clean pocket too soon or trying to play hero ball and win the game with one throw (no matter the quarter). His improvisation skills are already as good as any quarterback in the NFL. Of course you can’t make a living playing out of the structure of the offense. Well, can you? This Raiders offense wasn’t all that great outside of him. The offensive line was terrible, arguably the worst in the conference. His comfort level with his receivers outside of the pocket along with his arm talent brought a different dimension to this offense.
As I mentioned earlier, he does bail out the pocket too easily but he’s good for making plays inside of the pocket. Pressure doesn’t rattle him and he’s decent at navigating his way through the pocket. He sees the entire field well and no matter what position he is in, if he sees just a spot of daylight, he’ll find a way to get the receiver the ball. The gunslinger mentality is real. He has a lot of Brett Favre in him, for better or worse.
I don’t think Mahomes is a project QB. He’s a day one starter, but don’t expect day one success. His growing pains will come and they will come hard, but he has a learning curve. The things that make him great can also cause him to fail. So whoever drafts Mahomes should keep that in mind. You don’t want to change him, you just want him to make better decisions such as stop bailing out the pocket too early (his NFL line should be better), you don’t have to play hero ball and keep two hands on the ball. You can make comparisons to Rodgers, Favre and Roethlisberger without saying you think Mahomes will be that caliber player. We don’t know what his mental makeup will look like until we see him taking snaps on Sunday’s.
The one team I really would love to see Mahomes play for is the Steelers. This isn’t because I’m a fan, but this really just seems like a great offense from him. And let’s be honest, Big Ben isn’t the most durable QB so there is a chance he would have a shot to play during the season. The Steelers currently posses a top 4 line in the NFL and with the playmakers around him, it would give him a true opportunity for success. We see what Big Ben can do when the play breaks down, let’s see what Mahomes can do as well.