Scouting Profile: Quarterback Pat Mahomes
Pat Mahomes, Texas Tech
Weight: 225 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.80 seconds
Arms: 33 1/4″
Hands: 9 1/4″
Mahomes isn’t a player that I was able to see much of before sitting down to go through as much film on him as I could. Coming in with no biases, expectations, or pre-judgements, I can understand why the community is split on him. He’s the prototypical big-arm quarterback that has a lot of the physical tools, but is also somewhat of a loose cannon and a work in progress.
When analysts talk about Mahomes, they say that he has “swagger,” but when talking about someone like Jay Cutler, they’ll call that same demeanor a “bad attitude and cockiness.” Let me begin by saying that I have no problem with his demeanor, because quarterbacks need to carry a certain confidence on the field as long as they back it up. The only issue that can come of this is overconfidence, causing him to play looser than he should. He threw an interception in eight of the 12 games he played in 2016, something that needs to be corrected on the pro level.
When dropping back to pass, Mahomes has solid pocket awareness, knowing when to sit tight in the pocket and when to roll out. He’d play well in an offense that designs roll-outs, because one of the best areas of his game is his ability to throw from odd angles and multiple arm slots. While this definitely gives you flexibility in your offense, Mahomes also puts the team at risk when he takes chances he shouldn’t. He’ll throw sidearm, underhanded, heck, he even tried throwing a pass off his back in one of the games I took in. While you can appreciate the effort, things like that will lead to excessive turnovers, as will his throws that he makes off his back foot.
The arm strength is definitely there as well, as proved on a video his friend tweeted out with Mahomes throwing a football 65 yards off his knees. You can see that video right here. His father was a pitcher in the major leagues, after all. You’re also not able to make some of the sidearm throws that he does without having tremendous arm strength. His accuracy does vary because of all the inconsistencies in his throwing motion, but that comes with the territory. Some team will likely try and “fix” this, but that’s part of what makes him “him.” His pump fakes are also one of the best in this draft class, as he really sells the fake with his body.
Some will say that Mahomes can be mobile, and he’ll be able to for a little while because he’s an athlete, but he’ll make his living with his arm. At 6’2″ 225 pounds, he’s not the easiest guy to bring down. Best way to say it is that he’s a scrambler, and not necessarily a mobile quarterback. He can extend plays long enough for his receivers to get open, and that’s all you can ask.
Bottom line, Mahomes is a work in progress. He has almost all the physical tools that you look for in a young quarterback, but we’ve also seen this plenty of times before. If you can’t take care of the football, you aren’t going to be making many friends on the coaching staff. Because of that, Mahomes shouldn’t be starting right away, as he needs to learn how to harness his abilities. If he lands with a team that is willing to be patient with him, the sky is the limit.
Potential Landing Spot
Though I may sound like a broken record, Mahomes needs time to develop and needs to land in a spot where he doesn’t need to contribute right away. The Cardinals have been tied to him and while it makes sense, the Cardinals are in win-now mode and could use help elsewhere. Because of that, my favorite landing spot for Mahomes is the Saints as a potential Drew Brees replacement in a couple years. The Saints did bring him in for a private workout and depending on how everything shakes out, Mahomes may be available in the second round.
It should come as no surprise that Mahomes reminds me of Jay Cutler coming out of college. Quarterbacks who can move around the pocket, scramble if necessary, have massive arms, and are prone to turnovers. You can also throw Matthew Stafford on the table, as Mahomes’ variation in arm angles reminds me of the Lions signal caller. Let’s hope that Mahomes can get more consistency than Cutler did in the pros, because changing offensive coordinators every one or two years will essentially ruin his potential.
To read up on some of the other high-profile NFL Draft prospects, check out the links below:
Mitch Trubisky – (QB, North Carolina)
Deshaun Watson – (QB, Clemson)
Leonard Fournette – (RB, LSU)
Joe Mixon – (RB, Oklahoma)
Christian McCaffrey – (RB, Stanford)
Dalvin Cook – (RB, Florida State)
Corey Davis – (WR, Western Michigan)
Mike Williams – (WR, Clemson)
John Ross – (WR, Washington)