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Sam’s Film Room: Patrick Mahomes has awful mechanics, but a cannon for an arm

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

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What is the price for the ultimate backyard quarterback? That’s what we will find out with Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech. The former three-star, dual threat quarterback became their starter as early as his freshman season, unseating Davis Webb who then transferred to Cal. As a junior, he broke the NCAA record for most offensive yards in a single game.

He continuously put up eye-popping numbers finishing the season with over 5,000 passing yards for the second season in a row in 2016. The only other quarterback to ever do that was Case Keenum in the Houston Cougar’s offense.

As a prospect, Mahomes has many traits that scouts love. He has incredible arm strength measured (by his 60 mile per hour throwing velocity) and he does a great job of improvising inside and outside the pocket; he has potential to be a star quarterback in the NFL.

What keeps him from being a top caliber player is his decision-making, his awful mechanics, and some durability concerns.

From a pro comparison standpoint, he is most similar to Jay Cutler in my opinion. Both quarterbacks have good arm strength and a snappy release to get the ball down the field. Both possess a gunslinger mentality, QBs who are always willing to launch the ball down the field even when it’s ill-advised into double coverage. Both also need a lot of mechanical refinement coming out of school.

Overall, you are getting a raw prospect who is a gamer and loves extending plays to create big opportunities down the field. He flashes that ability on tape, but unless he’s extremely coachable, there is a high percentage chance that he’ll never develop within the confines of a structured NFL offense.

His best fit is with Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals. While I personally gave him an early second round grade, they have the 13th pick in the NFL Draft and could take him there. More likely, however, I think he’ll fall to the end of the first or possibly into the second round. Carson Palmer is at the end of his career and they need someone to sit behind him to take over as their future starter. Some other teams that might be interested in his potential are the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.