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Decision 2016: Will Mahomes stay or go?

Should the Texas Tech QB return for his senior season or go to the NFL?

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As we are dealing with the immediate aftermath of the presidential election, I am going to direct your attention to another pending decision. Has Mahomes truly played his last home game in a Texas Tech uniform? I don’t think he has, and here are some of my reason why.

He still has a lot of improving to do

We as Tech fans all know that Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation right now. Whether it’s him simply flicking his wrist and sailing the ball 60 yards downfield, or him scrambling around the backfield and miraculously converting a 3rd and long. There is no doubt that Mahomes has talent, however there is still a lot of “refining his craft” that has to be done.

The NFL is a pocket passer league (Manning, Brady, Brees), it is quickly becoming more of a two dimensional quarterback league (Wilson, Prescott, Newton), but the dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL are not the same type of dynamic as Mahomes. They are what I call “planned dynamics”. They don’t rely on scrambling to extend players, or taking off because there is no better option. They run because they can, not because they have to. “Street ball” quarterbacks like Mahomes don’t tend to succeed in the NFL, because even when you watch quarterback’s in the NFL that scramble it is still fairly structured. Mahomes scrambling is anything but structured.

Even with all the talent that Mahomes possesses, he still lives and dies with his ability to extend plays and “work his magic”. When Tech’s offensive line breaks down (which is most of the time), Mahomes goes into survival mode. He runs around avoiding a sack for as long as he can until one of his receivers breaks free of their coverage. As fun as it is to watch Mahomes make something happen on Saturdays, that is actually detrimental to his developmental process because it doesn’t allow him the opportunity to effectively read and adjust to the defense.

That was on full display this last Saturday. He wasn’t able to read the defense and watch the plays develop because he didn’t have enough time in the pocket. He needs another year to learn how to read coverage and not get flustered in the pocket. Street ball is effective at times, but when it becomes your default there is obviously more learning that needs to occur.

I’m still waiting on that Big 12 title

Just as Mahomes said in Dave Campbell’s 2016 Texas Football magazine his goal is to bring a Big 12 championship to Lubbock, and I believe that he is capable of doing so. As next year rolls around he will have a better supporting cast around him that will hopefully propel Texas Tech to the next level. Our receivers are stepping up (as usual), our defense seems to be turning the trend (slowly, but it is turning), and Mahomes is only going to get better. Now, I’m not saying that next year is title or bust, but I do believe that Mahomes has much more to accomplish at Tech, and much more maturing to do before he attempts a professional career.

I’m gonna miss him, and I don’t want to see him leave

Texas Tech has been around the QB carousel a few times in the recent years, and I think we can all agree that we landed on a pretty good one in Pat Mahomes. Texas Tech has always been able to produce quarterbacks with video game numbers, so I have no doubt that if Mahomes did decide to leave we would be able to figure something out, but I really hope that carousel can take a chill pill for just one more season.

Fans tend to blame the person with the ball in his hands when things aren’t going well, so it’s natural that during a not so stellar season people are questioning his capabilities, but we are going to miss him whenever he does end up leaving.

In the very few times that Shimonek has had the ball in his hands things have gone well, but I’m not ready to call his number quite yet. I’m gonna soak in Mr. Patty Melt for as long as I can, and I am looking forward to what he has in store for what will hopefully be his senior season.

Whatever Mahomes decides to do I will support him and follow his to whatever level he goes from here, but I am hoping to see him back on the field come Fall 2017.