Draft Daily: Is Patrick Mahomes a first-rounder?
Pro Football Focus’ Draft Daily will hit on a number of NFL Draft-related topics including recent news, scouting reports, PFF draft takes, and much more on a frequent basis.
Tuesday: What did we miss on Dak Prescott?
Wednesday: Can D’Onta Foreman pass protect?
Is Patrick Mahomes a first-round pick?
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, a fair expectation for the early enrollee. In my latest mock draft, I slotted Mahomes in at No. 25 overall to the Houston Texans, and given the number of QB-needy teams, it would not surprise to see Mahomes in the first-round mix. As we go through the evaluation process, a number of PFF analysts have declared Mahomes not only their favorite quarterback to watch, but potentially the top option. After grading at 80.7 overall in 2015, Mahomes improved to 90.2 in 2016, ranking fourth among Power-5 quarterbacks.
I broke down Mahomes, the rest of the draft class, and many of the free agent and trade options at quarterback in this week’s Big-Time Throwcast with former NFL quarterback Zac Robinson:
Mahomes is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the class as he has a great feel for the game, making a number of big throws both within and outside of structure. That also gets him into trouble as he’ll force passes and have some ugly plays, but he makes plays with his arm both from a velocity, touch and accuracy standpoint that few quarterbacks can make. The big question for him at the next level is harnessing that ability while allowing him to keep the creativity that makes him a potentially special player. On the podcast, I even compared him to a Hall of Famer from a style standpoint.
Scouting report for Florida State running back Dalvin Cook
Speed. That’s what makes Cook special, it’s the angle-changing speed. He can change a game as a runner or as a receiver, and that’s why I’ve put him at the top of our running back rankings. Drafting a running back in the first round may be questioned as a strategy, but adding a playmaker of Cook’s ability is worthwhile.
PFF analyst draft takes
Our analysts are hard at work analyzing the 2017 draft class and adding their spin on what they’re seeing. The beauty here is that we’re not always in lockstep with each take, and it shows the unique interpretation each of our analysts can have when watching film and analyzing PFF grades and stats. Here are a few of the more interesting takes of the week:
This take is now taking fire around the PFF offices as more analyst dig into Adams’ tape. He does make enough impressive plays to get you thinking, and with many teams now employing the Seattle Seahawks’ scheme that covets long corners, it wouldn’t surprise to see at least a few teams kick around the idea.
Hearing this one more often about McDowell, as the 6-foot-6, 276-pounder can get moved at the point of attack on the interior and he has shown strong flashes off the edge, particularly against our top-ranked offensive tackle in the draft class, Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk, and one of the best tackles in the nation in Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey.
PFF “My Guys”
We have a running document where PFF analysts list their favorite players to watch and analyze during draft season. They’re not necessarily the best players in the draft, but players an analyst believes in more than the hype surround the prospect or perhaps his expected draft position.
Here’s Josh Liskiewitz (@PFF_Josh) on UConn safety Obi Melifonwu:
Connecticut S Obi Melifonwu headlined our own Mike Renner’s list of five prospects set to blow up the combine, and when I watch his film it’s easy to see why. Melifonwu measured 6-feet-4 and 219 pounds at the Senior Bowl, making him bigger than many of the linebackers in the draft. He’s an impressive tackler in space, in large part due to his natural power (he finished ninth in run-stop percentage and 17th in tackling efficiency last season). But don’t mistake him for a box safety, as he is plenty comfortable in the deep third (260 snaps at free safety in 2016), with the range and ball skills to make plays. … As a fan of great football matchups, I want to see Melifonwu in the AFC East, where he’ll get to face off against Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett (assuming he re-signs with the Patriots next month) twice every season.
PFF Draft Podcast
The latest PFF Draft Podcast is now available, as I team up with Senior Analyst Mike Renner for our usual ramblings, including a pick-by-pick breakdown of Mock Draft 4.0. Mike brings it with his usual “hot take” of the week, and this one was burning so strong that he had to kick off the show with it. We also discuss players moving up and down the draft board, review old scouting reports (including some insight on Dak Prescott). We are also blessed with Nathan Jahnke’s mind-blowing stat of the week, quickly becoming the most-talked about segment in football podcasting.
Be sure to download and subscribe to the PFF Podcast from your favorite provider.
PFF Draft Pass
Stay tuned for a very exciting venture as the PFF Draft Pass will be your way to access the most unique NFL Draft insights in the land. Coming soon!