Late one evening I was browsing the interwebs as I often do looking up sports stats and eating pretzels. In my nocturnal statistical study I came across some information that baffled me; after only one full season Patrick Mahomes is already a top 10 QB in Texas Tech history on numbers alone. This is at a school with a history of throwing the ball at a rate that would make an SEC fan crap his or her britches.
After his sophomore season, Mahomes is already top 10 in career passing touchdowns and yards (6th and 9th respectively). I also noticed that Mahomes currently sits at 25th in career rushing touchdowns. That isn't just for quarterbacks, but for all Texas Tech players.
If Mahomes repeats his numbers from this year without any improvement, he will finish 2nd in career passing yards and passing touchdowns. In light of Mahomes' decision to end his baseball career, one can only assume that the extra time with the football staff will help him improve even more this offseason than he did last offseason.
The main thing a quarterback is supposed to do well is throw the ball. To say he throws the ball well is an insult to understatements. Here are how his numbers stack up against some of the best passers in Tech history. All data per Sports Reference/College Football. If you need a visual aid look here.
Looking purely at Mahomes as a passer, last season was among the top 5 in Tech's pass happy history. Graham Harrell had 3 seasons were all better than Mahomes' 2015, Kliff Kingsbury had one as well. Pat's 4653 yards were the 4th most ever by a Red Raider QB. Mahomes finished his first full season as a starter with more yards and yards per attempt than Harrell, Kingsbury, Seth Doege, and Taylor Potts did in their first years. He also finished with more touchdowns than everyone but Harrell.
His first year at the helm wasn't without blemish. Interceptions and incompletions held him back from already being a top 5 TTU quarterback of all time. The sophomore signal caller finished the season with 15 interceptions and only completed 63.5% of his passes. I can remember two interceptions in the OSU game alone that were the fault of a receiver, but you can't charge an interception to anybody but the quarterback. Most of those other picks came because of Mahomes' greatest flaw: trying to make something out of nothing. A fair portion of his incompletions were due to drops, but quarterbacks are responsible for finding a way past issues of that nature.
These flaws are what Kingsbury will help Mahomes to improve most during spring ball. All of those extra film sessions, practices, and one on one coaching time will help Patrick feel even more comfortable in the offense. His reads should be cleaner and his confidence as a decision maker will also likely be improved in the offseason.
The Air Raid offense isn't necessarily known for the success of dual threat QBs. However Kliff Kingsbury's offense is better adapted to suit QBs with Mahomes' skillset. Last year Mahomes finished the season with 456 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. That broke the school record for most rushing yards and touchdowns by a quarterback. This was his first year and Patrick is already the best rushing QB in school history with nowhere to go but up.
On his current trajectory, Mahomes will finish sixth in career rushing TDs and 19th in career rushing yards (30 and 1472 respectively). That isn't for QBs, but for all Tech players. For perspective, that would be seven more career rushing touchdowns than DeAndre Washington.
Patrick Mahomes' combination of skill as both a passer and a runner is what sets him apart from past Texas Tech quarterbacks. Even if you disregard his skill as a runner, Pat's passing proficiency alone would surely land him among the greats in Red Raider lore.
With his spring semester fully devoted to football, I can't wait to see the improvements Mahomes will make before next season. Before my research I was tentative, but afterwards I know for sure:
Patrick Mahomes will finish his career as the best Texas Tech quarterback of all time.