Depending on who you ask, the best quarterback prospect in this year’s NFL Draft is Mitchell Trubisky. Or Deshaun Watson. Or DeShone Kizer. Or Davis Webb.
But for Corey Chavous, it’s someone else.
“The best quarterback, to me, is Patrick Mahomes II,” the CBS Sports Network NFL Draft analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think overall he’s a player with a very, very interesting skill set, to say the least. The top five quarterbacks that we graded as second-round grades, he is the highest. The fact that he’s an academic All-American, bides his time well, he’s durable, he will play through pain – I think that’s what, for the most part, was something that impressed his teammates and coaches alike this year. I think he’s a competitive player.”
Mahomes completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 5,052 yards, 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season playing in Texas Tech’s Air-Raid offense.
“I thought he did a better job regardless of the fact that they didn’t call plays in the huddle,” Chavous said. “I thought he executed what they were doing offensively with a better command that he had even in previous years. The fact that he could be erratic for stretches is a concern, but there’s something you could find and nitpick with with all of these quarterbacks on to a great degree. I think he can maneuver and manipulate the ball a little bit with more talent than some of the other players in the draft and throw from basically anybody’s position. I think those things are important at the next level.”
Some people, of course, will dismiss Mahomes’ talent and label him as a “system quarterback,” as he does not play in a pro-style offense. But look around college football. Where are the pro-style quarterbacks?
“My thing is, no quarterback you’re grading now (plays in a pro-style offense),” Chavous said. “Unless you want to go to C.J. Beathard at Iowa. He’s in a pro-style offense. You can look at some stuff that Nathan Peterman does as Pittsburgh. You can go back and look at some stuff that Brad Kaaya did earlier in his career under center. If you want to go down to P.J. Walker from Temple, Mitch Leidner from Minnesota – those are your pro-style offenses. So regardless of Air-Raid, spread – all of these guys are basically running a spread scheme. When you start talking about offenses nowadays, everybody you’re grading is running a spread offense.”
Let’s not forget that several quarterbacks run spread offenses – or at least elements of spread offenses – in the NFL, including Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, who threw 63 passes, mostly out of shotgun, in New England’s 34-28 win in Super Bowl LI.
“I think you just have to put some of this (spread discussion) into context,” Chavous said.