Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio examines Patrick Mahomes’ start in the preseason finale as a setup to his Week 17 regular season start.
This week’s focus has been a dive into the Chiefs offense and new addition, Sammy Watkins. Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be the player who will have to tie all the pieces together into a productive unit.
It will be a tall order for Mahomes to surpass Alex Smith’s career-year as a first-year NFL starter, but Mahomes offers physical tools and an aggressive and decisive mindset that give him a bright future. Mahomes’ first start in Week 4 of the preseason reveals how his game will differ from Smith’s and where that’s potentially good and bad:
- Rare arm talent to make off-platform, off-script throws that only a few NFL quarterbacks can. He’ll turn dead-end situations into big plays.
- Smith’s receivers lead the league with yards of separation per completion. This is partially due to scheme success and partially Smith’s cautious nature vs. tight windows.
- Mahomes is a confident tight-window thrower. Big plays for the offense and defense will be in the Chiefs’ immediate future as Mahomes tests his limits in 2018.
- Mahomes is a decisive thrower. Many established NFL starters lack the timing Mahomes often shows between recognition and action.
- Mahomes is not afraid to go after a defender who got the best of him earlier and in a similar situation.
- Because Mahomes can make rare throws, he’s still likely to test the limits of his gifts until he embraces the failure as a learning experience.
A quick note. I misidentified the coverage on the first video below as Cover 1 – a single-high safety and man coverage outside. I simply missed that the corners playing outside shade and running with the deeper coverage in zone. This is Cover 3.
With a proper identification of the coverage, this is one of the few times where Mahomes was hesitant to throw the post and it’s why he was forced to scramble and ultimately make that insane throw under pressure.
Hat-tip to Dan Orlovsky for pointing this out.
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