QB Pat Mahomes, Texas Tech
Ever heard of Pat Mahomes? If not, I would suggest a quick search on YouTube because he is one of the most exciting players to watch in College Football. With the potential to score from anywhere on the field, Pat Mahomes leads one of the most electric offenses in College Football, running head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid attack.
Some quarterbacks just have a special talent for creating plays that simply aren’t there. Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, Brett Favre in Green Bay, Russell Wilson in Seattle, and Big Ben in Pittsburgh are recent examples. Having a quarterback with the ability to extend plays opens up so many additional dimensions for a team’s offense.
If you think you’ve seen Big Ben make some miraculous escapes from pressure, I guarantee you that none will compare to some of the Houdini-esque escapes that Mahomes has made in his short college career. Mahomes excels at feeling the pressure around him and making subtle movements to cleanly navigate throughout the pocket. Then, when the play breaks down, Mahomes has the ability to evade multiple defenders and escape the pocket. It is amazing how composed Mahomes remains despite the heaviest of pressures, as he somehow always keeps his eyes downfield while he is running for his life.
Additionally, Mahomes has an uncanny ability to throw accurate bullets while on the move. With his mesmerizing arm talent Mahomes can attack all levels of the defense even while on the run. Mahomes can execute throws while off-balance, on the run, and 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage unlike any quarterback I’ve ever seen.
Furthermore, due to his unique arm talent Mahomes can fit the ball into extremely small windows. Mahomes delivers his passes with exceptional velocity from an effortless and quick release. While many NFL evaluators may be initially put off by Mahomes quirky, side-armed throwing motion that he developed from his baseball career, it allows Mahomes to release the ball from a multitude of different angles.
With his cannon of an arm, remarkable pocket mobility, and ability to stretch the field, Mahomes has plenty of attributes to be excited about.
While Mahomes may dazzle you with his unique arm talent and pocket mobility, he has a plethora of holes in his game that cause concern. First of all, Mahomes needs to fix his accuracy across the board. Mahomes is inconsistent with his ball placement and touch on all levels of the field. While Mahomes may execute plays that other quarterback’s wouldn’t even dare to attempt, he also will miss throws that many average quarterbacks would easily execute.
Additionally, Mahomes will often get into trouble due to his refusal to quit on plays. This may remind you of a certain QB (looking at you Ben), as Mahomes rarely throws the ball away. Instead, Mahomes will force throws that aren’t there, often resulting in turnovers.
Lastly, Mahomes has plenty of issues as far as mechanics and footwork are concerned. While I am not as discouraged by his unusual throwing motion as other evaluators are, his poor footwork is a huge red-flag. Mahomes will need to improve his balance and eradicate his poor habit of throwing off of his back foot. If Mahomes can shore up his technique and footwork issues, I believe his accuracy will drastically improve.
Mahomes is definitely a high risk-high reward prospect. However, he has never had a full offseason of football and NFL coaches may believe they can create a star out of his untapped potential. Mahomes is simply not in an ideal environment for his development due to Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense.
Because Mahomes has some of the same strengths and weaknesses that Roethlisberger had coming out of Miami (OH), I could definitely see the Steelers having interest in Mahomes. He has an enormous amount of potential, and with proper development he could be a middle round steal who develops into a star in Pittsburgh’s prolific offense.