SI.com Scouts 2017 NFL Draft Prospect Patrick Mahomes
SI.com has put out a comprehensive scouting report on Patrick Mahomes as part of their NFL Draft Big Board series.
The SI.com article is full of good commentary about what makes Mahomes exciting while also pointing out some of his strengths and weaknesses.
The author starts the strength section of the article with my favorite Patrick Mahomes quote of all time: "The Mahomes experience is a bit like watching someone slice a banana with a playing card—you're not entirely sure how it happened, but it looks cool as hell."
It's the perfect way to describe Patrick Mahomes.
The strength section stretches on talking about how Mahomes is mobile, but "works to keep his eyes downfield in search of a throwing lane." Despite Mahomes' 22 rushing touchdowns at Texas Tech, he's always looking downfield for the big play.
"While he obviously can scramble," the author continues, "he seemingly prefers to do so only as a last resort or if a clear gap opens."
It helps that he can drive the ball to all areas of the field, mechanics be damned. Mahomes has the arm to flick a sidearm toss on the run 50-plus yards, just as naturally as he can stand in the pocket and zip a bullet to the far sideline. There is a downside to his so-called “gunslinger” mentality, but there also are not a lot of quarterbacks that can make the throws he can.
The "system quarterback" stigma comes up again and again with all spread quarterbacks moving into the NFL, but this article takes both sides of the coin in regards to Mahomes.
"I just show them my knowledge for the game, that’s the only way I can prove it wrong," said Mahomes of the "system QB" label. "You look back at the system quarterback [history], a lot of guys didn’t work out. So for me, it’s just going to be about proving those guys wrong, going out there and really showing my knowledge of the game and just competing. It’ll all show up when you get to the field."
They give him credit for doing more than most spread QBs, but say he'll face a steep learning curve heading into the NFL. "He will have to adjust to working under center, at least on occasion, while digesting reads and coverages," the report says.
The rest of Mahomes negatives stem from mechanics and mentality.
I'll let the article sum up its own points on those:
There should be a limit to how much his next team wants to clean up his mechanics—pushing Mahomes to be too bland would take away his improvisational skills. However, Mahomes’s mechanics can be scattershot, which is why he will thread a needle one play and then fire an easy pass into the third row the next. On top of that, Mahomes offers the decision-making that comes with the gunslinger label. In other words, he will turn nothing plays into huge gains, but he’ll also try to strong-arm passes into nonexistent windows.
Basically, the entire read boils down to Mahomes being a boom-or-bust prospect, where all of his negatives can also be considered positives.
Makes sense, right?
The author also takes his stab at an NFL comparison, comparing Mahomes to Matthew Stafford, which I much prefer to the Jay Cutler comparisons floating around.