The term “boom or bust” is often used in scouting to describe a player with a high ceiling and a low floor. In other words, it means that that player will either be really good, or really bad. There’s very little middle ground. Perhaps nobody in the 2017 NFL Draft fits that phrase better than Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Over the past few months, his stock has been rising like crazy. He has developed a fair share of self-professed “Mahomies” in the draft community. He also has his fair share of haters, though.
Mahomes is an absolute playmaker. Some argue that his arm strength rivals that of Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre. He can make almost any throw, no matter where it is on the field. He can also improvise and scramble out of the pocket to make plays. His decision making is a lot better than people give him credit for, too.
He also has a lot of kinks in his game that he needs to iron out, too. For starters, his mechanics and footwork aren’t good. He is primarily a spread quarterback, so he will need to work on calling plays, leading a huddle and taking snaps directly under center.
It will likely take Mahomes a while to get used to the NFL game, so he would be best suited sitting under a veteran quarterback. However, he could also speed up his development by entering a favorable environment that would allow him to work with talented players. Here are a few teams that he would best fit with.
Arizona would be a fantastic fit for Mahomes. Head coach Bruce Arians likes passionate quarterbacks who have strong arms. He also indicated that he still thinks current the Cardinals’ current stalwart at the position, still has fuel left in the tank:
“Do you need a guy right away?” Arians said. “If I needed a guy right away, I’d be looking for a certain type of player that might come out of a different system that is more NFL ready. But he’s still got to have the arm strength and the talent to play the game, he has to have the physical stature to play the position. Along with that mental approach and the heart.”
That quote sounds like one from a man who isn’t looking for a quarterback who can start right away.
Mahomes would be surrounded by the likes of David Johnson, John Brown, J.J. Nelson and, depending on how long he plays, Larry Fitzgerald. That’s a good situation to enter. It’s highly unlikely that Mahomes will be available when the Cardinals pick in the second round, so they’d have to use the No. 13 pick on him. If they feel that he’s worth that high of a pick, who am I to tell them they’re wrong?
2017 NFL Draft: Which teams do the top-10 NFL Draft prospects best fit
New Orleans Saints
The Saints run a pass-heavy offense led by an aging star veteran who has plenty of dangerous weapons. Basically, it’s a fantastic fit for Mahomes.
Drew Brees isn’t getting any older – he’s 38 – so it would make sense for New Orleans to pick his replacement this year. Assuming he retires in the next two years, Mahomes would get the chance to work with the likes of Mark Ingram, Willie Snead, Coby Fleener and blossoming superstar Michael Thomas.
The problem is, the Saints need help on defense. Like, lots of help. They have two first-round picks, however, so they could possibly take Mahomes with one of them if they like him enough.
Unlike the other four teams on this list, the Texans don’t have a stable quarterback situation. As of now, their starter will be Tom Savage. Mahomes would have less time to adjust to the pros in Houston.
However, the pick would make sense on Houston’s part. They need a quarterback, and he would likely be the best available. They’re already a playoff team, so he could step in right away and win. The Texans have weapons like DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V and Lamar Miller to work with. Plus, Mahomes is a Texas native.
While Mahomes wouldn’t have as much time to adjust to a pro-style offense, the Texans would make up for that with playoff-caliber talent to surround him with. After years of instability at the quarterback position, Houston could fix that with Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs
Rumors have been heating up that the Chiefs will select a quarterback early in this year’s NFL Draft. Alex Smith will be 33 in just over a month, so he’s not going to be around forever. Picking Mahomes would put them in a great spot in the long run.
With Spencer Ware, Tyreek Hill, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce, Mahomes would be in a comfortable position talent-wise on the Chiefs. The team also has a young and talented offensive line. Plus, Mahomes (among other rookie quarterbacks) loves head coach Andy Reid.
The Chiefs don’t have a whole lot of other needs, so quarterback could be a possibility at No. 27. If Mahomes is available, then they’d be smart to give him a shot.
Perhaps no place would be a better landing spot for Mahomes’ future than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He would get to sit for a year or two under Ben Roethlisberger, with whom he shares some similarities. Once Big Ben retires, Mahomes would get to play alongside Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown: two of the best offensive players in the NFL today. Add those two players to one of the best offensive lines in football, and Mahomes would be set up for success.
It’s unlikely that the Steelers will choose a quarterback in the first round this year. However, if Mahomes falls to No. 30, they might take the risk and make him their successor to Roethlisberger.
– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.