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Why Patrick Mahomes is worth a first round pick

His stock has been rising steadily in the past couple weeks

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

Patrick Mahomes could be the first Red Raider drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since Michael Crabtree in 2009. Only six athletes from Texas Tech have been first rounders. Mahomes has the genetics, the arm and the skill set to make a splash in this weekend’s NFL Combine. This 2017 quarterback class is not too hot, which is a great opportunity for Mahomes to leave lasting impressions with NFL scouts.

Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has fully vetted and supported Mahomes on every platform he possibly can. Throwing for 5,052 yards completing 65.7 percent of his passes including 41 touchdowns and 10 INTs during his junior year is just a taste of what Mahomes could bring to a struggling NFL offense. He set an FBS record with 819 offensive yards over 100 plays with seven touchdowns during Tech’s win over Oklahoma, 66-59. The way Mahomes carried himself and the Red Raider faithful during games also speaks volume to his character on and off the gridiron.

Scouts are skeptical with the other QB draft contenders including DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky. With that being said, Mahomes could absolutely go in the first round. The biggest problem Mahomes faces is scouts are uncertain on how the Air Raid trained offensive talents translate to the NFL. He doesn’t take snaps from under center and that also affects commanding a huddle, not to mention that the system is based on predetermined reads. Other challenges for Mahomes include cleaning up his footwork, more specifically, his five-and seven-step drops and rhythm throws.

Here’s a good breakdown of what Mahomes offers.

The Good

  • Ridiculous arm talent
  • Leadership qualities
  • Calm and collected
  • Stays in control
  • Nice touch
  • Ball placement
  • Looking off safeties
  • Winging it
  • He is quick to improvise

The Bad

  • Awareness of situational football
  • Forcing it
  • Cleaning up footwork and bad mechanics
  • Less throwing off of his back foot
  • Improved five and seven-step drops
  • Improved rhythm throws

On paper, Mahomes looks solid standing at 6’3, and weighing 230 pounds. Mahomes is the best QB in the 2017 draft, no doubt about it. He will have to play to his strengths, showcasing his leadership, control and his cannon for an arm. He will have to prove that the Air Raid offense is not completely ingrained in him so much so that he won’t be able to transition to a more traditional styled offense in the NFL. Being the 3-star recruit and former baseball player, it’s the perfect timing for Mahomes to shine as a first round draft pick this weekend on the gridiron.