Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes is more than last season's NCAA passing leader. He's a first-round draft choice waiting to happen, with numerous mock drafts having the former Texas Tech star moving up their boards.
"The more I look at him," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, "the more I push him higher."
And why not? In just his second year as a starter, Mahomes was so accomplished that he led the country in passing yards, total offense and total touchdowns and won the Sammy Baugh award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate passer.
He has size. He has the arm. And he has the credentials, shredding Oklahoma for 734 yards passing last season.
But he's also a product of the Air Raid spread offense that produced a list of NFL also-rans at quarterback, and, as Mahomes acknowledged out on this week's Talk of Fame Network broadcast, that's one topic sure to be addressed at this weekend's NFL scouting combine.
But what he hopes NFL clubs find is that Mahomes is an eager student and tireless worker who believes so strongly in preparation that he can ... and will ... overcome hurdles, real or perceived, at any level.
"(Preparation) is almost the most important thing you have to do," he said on the broadcast. "It pretty much is, actually. Tom Brady is the definition of it. He knows what you're doing before you do it.
"I mean, being a quarterback, you just have to know these things: Everybody's fast, everybody's talented and everybody's big in the NFL. So you have to find that little edge, and being prepared and knowing what plays they're running and knowing what coverages they're in ... I mean, that's the stuff you have to know.
"And that's what makes you great. The preparation and having your fundamentals down -- that's something you have to be great at to be a great NFL quarterback."
Mahomes is one of many quarterbacks in Indianapolis this week for the annual scouting combine, and, like others, spent weeks in preparation for the interviews and workouts. Mahomes said he intends to do all drills except the bench press, adding that -- like Brady -- he's ready for whatever NFL clubs throw at him.
"I'm going to go in there and, first off, just kill all the interviews," he predicted. "Talk to all these teams and show them that I know what I'm talking about and that I did a lot of different things at Tech ... and that that's not the typical spread system. That's the first thing I want to do.
"I want to talk to teams and get relationships with coaches and try to show them that I can be the guy; that I can be their franchise quarterback, hopefully, in the future.
"After that, it's all about the physical. Checking all the boxes, running all the things (and) really just going out there and showing that I'm a great athlete, as well as that I can throw the ball and make every NFL throw possible."