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How Kansas City will develop Patrick Mahomes II into a pro quarterback

What will Andy Reid and his coaching staff focus on as they groom Mahomes into a franchise quarterback?

NCAA Football: USA TODAY Sports-Archive Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City made a huge and some might say risky draft pick in selecting former Texas Tech quarterback Mahomes as the 10th overall pick.

This is the first time since 1983 Kansas City has drafted a QB in the first round. Even so, unless there is a horrible injury to Alex Smith, do not expect for Mahomes to start for the Kansas City Chiefs any time soon. You could say he needs at least one or two seasons of experience before making his pro debut. In the meantime, there are several issues the Chiefs will begin addressing.

The two obvious needs include making better decisions and cleaning up his footwork. Pro Football Focus listed him as the second-most turnover-worthy throws in the country. Yes, he had 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions his junior year, but there were plenty of lucky catches that went in Mahomes’ favor.

In past games, when the pocket would collapse, he would force the throw instead of taking the sack. When under pressure, Mahomes does not set his feet and he throws off of his back foot often. Also, he tends to be aggressive with his decision-making and not taking the time to read the defense.

That said, Mahomes’ strengths also include extending the play, pocket awareness, looking downfield, being calm and collected on the gridiron and, of course, his arm strength. He can thread the needle and fit his throw into narrow windows. He also can be level-headed, and that is hard to come by in such a young quarterback.

The goal for the Chiefs is to provide a platform for Mahomes to thrive in with his strengths and add finesse to his footwork and game management responsibilities. Time will provide the opportunity to develop Mahomes into Kansas City’s next franchise quarterback.