49ers Should Take QB Patrick Mahomes in Round 2 of NFL Draft

The San Francisco 49ers need a quarterback this offseason, and the NFL Draft is likely a place for the team to fill this need. Reaching for a QB in Round 1 isn’t the best idea, so holding out for Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes in the second round seems like much better an option.

Take a look around NFL Draft mocks, and you’ll likely see the San Francisco 49ers going after a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

This is what CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler and Rob Rang project, as well as Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller — all three mocking North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky to San Francisco in Round 1.

Here’s the problem — Trubisky to the Niners at No. 2 is a reach. CBS Sports even ranks Trubisky as the No. 12 overall prospect.

No quarterback is even within the top 10. That’s called a reach — a bad one.

With a plethora of needs elsewhere, new general manager John Lynch would be wise to use that first-round pick to shore up something else, anything but quarterback.

And Lynch can worry about quarterback in Round 2. The name to watch is Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes.

The Niners also own pick No. 34 overall in the draft, and it’s unlikely other Round 1 QBs — like Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer or Clemson’s Deshaun Watson — fall that far. But Mahomes likely will, and the 49ers shouldn’t hesitate to bite.

Breaking Down the Numbers

We have to take into account Texas Tech’s wide-open passing offense as a bit of an inflation on Mahomes’ collegiate stats.

He certainly benefited from such, although we can certainly look at his numbers as being impressive:

Passing Table
Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
2014 Texas Tech Big 12 FR QB 7 105 185 56.8 1547 8.4 9.1 16 4 151.2
*2015 Texas Tech Big 12 SO QB 13 364 573 63.5 4653 8.1 8.2 36 15 147.2
2016 Texas Tech Big 12 JR QB 12 388 591 65.7 5052 8.5 9.2 41 10 157.0
Career Texas Tech 857 1349 63.5 11252 8.3 8.8 93 29 152.0
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2017.

Note the completion percentage — 63.5 over three collegiate seasons. That number isn’t far off Trubisky’s 68.0 mark or Watson’s 67.0 percentage. And one might feel as if Mahomes is more pro ready, considering Trubisky is just a one-year starter in college.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Mahomes also has the ideal body for an NFL quarterback.

Breaking Down Scouting Reports

According to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, Mahomes “is a big, confident quarterback who brings a variety of physical tools to the party.”

Zierlein does point out a few problems with the Texas Tech quarterback’s game though, including some poor decision-making skills and some mechanical issues that need tweaking. So we can deduce from this it’s unlikely Mahomes will be a day-one starter once drafted. He’ll need a year or two to develop.

Nov 25, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) warms up on the bench during the game against the Baylor Bears at AT&T Stadium. Texas Tech defeated Baylor 54-35. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 25, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) warms up on the bench during the game against the Baylor Bears at AT&T Stadium. Texas Tech defeated Baylor 54-35. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

But there’s one aspect to point out. Earlier this month, Niner Noise’s Rich Madrid broke down new head coach Kyle Shanahan’s passing offense. One of the key focal points was Shanahan’s use of the run-pass option.

Without going into too much detail, Shanahan rarely hesitated to use this run-pass approach with the Atlanta Falcons, as broken down in Madrid’s assessment.

Zierlein also draws the conclusion Mahomes would be a good fit in this type of scheme:

Expedites release on RPOs (run-pass option) or when pressure is mounting in pocket. Puts effort into play-action fakes. Relaxed and effective when throwing on the move. Can be a legitimate dual-threat in a boot-action offense. Improved his eye manipulation over the years and will eyeball linebackers to hold them while patterns unfold around them.

Sounds like a nice fit, right?

And for those questioning Mahomes’ deep-ball skills, just look at this practice throw, courtesy of Stack Media’s Jordan Zirm:

Two-Round Mock Draft for the 49ers

Since we’ve already given the Niners a nod to grab Mahomes in Round 2 with pick No. 34 overall, let’s speculate a bit on the prospect taken at No. 2 overall as well.

Assuming Lynch passes on a QB in Round 1, simply because the value isn’t there, the Niners may try to trade down — which might negate the whole Mahomes-to-San-Francisco idea anyway — or stay put and select the best player available.

It’s likely Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett is off the boards to the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 overall. And it’s hard to see San Francisco going after projected-No. 2 prospect, Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, because they already have Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner playing the same position.

Niner Noise tabbed Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster to San Francisco in a recent Chat Sports live mock, so that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams wouldn’t be a bad fit either.

Since the defense was the No. 1 weakness for the 49ers a year ago, let’s go with Foster as the 49ers’ first-round pick.

And Mahomes falls into San Francisco’s lap in Round 2.

With those two picks, the Niners have made some notable upgrades to both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

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