2017: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
NFL scouts began falling in love with Patrick Mahomes, after watching his incredible arm strength, “sandlot” style of making plays when things break down, and the overall gaudy statistics he put up while playing at Texas Tech. But go back and watch any highlight reel of Mahomes; for any 10 highlight plays you’ll see him make, no more than two of them actually feature him standing in the pocket, reading what the defense is doing, and delivering the football based on that information & assessment. That’s what he’s going to get paid to do in the NFL — not run around in the pocket like a chicken with its head cut off.
Everyone is tantalized by his physical gifts and athletic ability, but that’s exactly how (and why) guys like Jamarcus Russell, Kyle Boller, Jake Locker, and so many others were drafted too high for their own good — only to end up fizzling in the NFL — after they failed to show the ability to be an actual quarterback in college. Mahomes needs years of development, something he isn’t getting while he’s sitting on the bench behind Alex Smith.