Through the ups and downs of these past three seasons there has always been one shining light amidst the uncertainty: Patrick Mahomes. With his junior season complete, Mahomes is now eligible to declare for the NFL Draft.
2017’s QB draft class features some impressive names, among which Mahomes more than holds his own. Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina, Deshaun Watson from Clemson, and DeShone Kizer at Notre Dame sit atop most mock draft lists right now.
As impressive as Patrick is on the field, his lack of polish will likely have his name called after those three on draft night, should he decide to leave. In an interview right after the Baylor game, Mahomes said that he wanted to stay at Texas Tech for his senior season, much to the delight of fans.
However, he was just coming off an endorphin high after one of his best career games in a winning effort against a big rival, so it’s not like he had a lot of time to put in meaningful thought about it. If he decides to change his mind, I won’t harbor any ill will towards him. I will however, outline why he should stay.
After every record-setting performance, every individual award, Mahomes always deflects the individual praise onto his teammates. When asked about his record night against OU all Patrick could talk about was how badly he wanted to win.
Last week against Baylor, Mahomes got an opportunity to experience that feeling of a big win in a rivalry game. That experience is one he could likely replicate several times if he returns next season.
Texas Tech will return over half their starters next season. That added experience will greatly help them win more of those close contests next year. Four of Tech’s seven losses were by one score. If they split those four games, this is a 7 or 8 win team depending on who they face in a bowl game.
Added experience on the offensive line will help keep Mahomes safe in the pocket next season should he return. Also, if you think the way he handled himself in the pocket against Baylor is a sign of things to come, he should get hit significantly less next season should he return.
Mahomes’ top two receiving targets this season were both sophomores in Jonathan Giles and Keke Coutee. The next two top receivers are both juniors: Dylan Cantrell and Cameron Batson.
This year the Big 12 had a down year. Next year has to be much better right? Maybe not. With UT and Baylor breaking in new coaches (and maybe West Virginia? Put a pin in it) those two powerhouse programs could be a step below their past glories.
Several conference foes will be breaking in new QBs as well: WVU, Baylor, TCU, possibly OSU, and OU as well depending on who does or doesn’t declare for the draft. All this unrest in the rest of the conference will leave an easier path for Texas Tech to make a serious run at their first ever Big 12 championship if Mahomes plays his senior year.
Defensively that last game against Baylor personified what David Gibbs wants this defense to be. Most importantly, the defense almost the whole year, was led by youth. Freshman stars Jordyn Brooks, Douglas Coleman, and Kevin Moore stood out this year. Sophomore studs Breiden Fehoko, and Jah’Shawn Johnson were no slouches either.
Oh and remember that guy Houston Miller? He gets to play next year. Look out world, he’s hungry!
Beyond all these reason, Patrick Mahomes should stay because he could become the most beloved QB to ever dawn the scarlet and black. He’s on pace to break all major school career QB records: passing yards, touchdowns, QB rushing yards, QB rushing touchdowns.
Should he accumulate 5000+ total yards again next season he’d be only the second player in college football history to do so in three seasons, and the only to do it back to back to back. The other QB was also coached by Kliff Kingsbury (Case Keenum at Houston). However I’m 100% convinced he’s the only QB who could ever make these two plays, let alone make them both on the same drive.
Please don’t leave us Pat. Stay for this final act in West Texas, we know it will be your best. No matter what your decision, Lubbock will always be here to pat your back, Mahomes.
But if you stay for this curtain call, you’ll never pay for a drink or a meal in Lubbock again because the NCAA won’t be able to punish the school for us doing so. Sing your swan song in scarlet next year, I know those wins will be worth the wait.