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3 reasons the Bills should draft: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes

Position: Quarterback.
School: Texas Tech.
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.80 seconds. Vertical jump: 30 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 6 inches. 3-cone drill: 6.88 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.08 seconds.
Career stats: 32 games, 857 for 1,349 (63.5 completion percentage), 11,252 yards, 93 TDs, 29 INTs.
Draft projection: First-second round.

Reasons:

1. He put up big-time numbers with a big-time armAs a junior, Mahomes set a single-game FBS record with 819 yards of offense. He totaled seven touchdowns (five passing, two running) in a 66-59 loss to Oklahoma, part of a season in which he threw for 5,052 yards, 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games, averaging 49 passes per game. Most scouts agree Mahomes has the best arm talent of any quarterback in the class, a trait that takes on even more importance in Buffalo, where games are frequently played in the cold and wind.

2. He disputes the idea he's a product of the system. Mahomes played in the Air Raid offense, which has not translated well to the NFL for quarterbacks. It's full of quick passes and predetermined reads, but Mahomes said he practiced taking snaps under center every day, while also running some play action. "We ran some NFL stuff," he said.

3. He knows who to listen to. In a recent profile by Sports Illustrated, it's revealed that Mahomes played three sports in high school and almost never attended football camps. Last summer, he was a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy. While there, he learned a film tip from Peyton Manning. That tip was to watch film of his own games over and over again. Mahomes credited that tip with helping him to cut down on his interceptions in 2016.

Fun fact: Mahomes' father, Pat, pitched 11 years in Major League Baseball with six organizations, including five years with the Minnesota Twins, compiling a 42-39 career record with 308 appearances with 709 innings pitched and 452 career strikeouts.

They said it: "Mahomes will need time and coaching to develop, but he has the natural talent to become a really good NFL player. If he gets the time to learn an NFL offense and correct some of his mechanical mistakes, there is some special to him. The worst move you could make for his development would be to play him before he’s ready." – Greg Gabriel, Buffalo native and former director of college scouting for the Chicago Bears.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers.

 

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