Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II announced at a press conference Tuesday he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2017 NFL draft.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported the news.
The Tyler, Texas, native is coming off a huge season for the Red Raiders that saw him lead the FBS in passing yardage (5,052) and total touchdowns (41 passing and 12 rushing).
Although the Texas Tech offense has long been conducive to big-time stat production at the quarterback position, Mahomes appears to be more widely regarded than his predecessors in terms of NFL draft stock.
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Bleacher Report's Matt Miller recently spoke with an anonymous NFC scout who ranked Mahomes fourth among quarterbacks in the 2017 class behind only Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer, North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson.
Miller predicted in his latest mock draft that the Kansas City Chiefs would select Mahomes with the No. 62 overall pick in the second round.
While the Red Raiders went just 5-7 in 2016, Mahomes enjoyed a historic campaign that included a record-breaking performance against Oklahoma in which he tied the FBS single-game record with 734 passing yards and broke the record for total offense with 819 yards.
Per RedRaiderSports.com (h/t ESPN.com's Max Olson), Mahomes put up dominant numbers despite playing eight games with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder and five games with a sprain in his non-throwing wrist, which required surgery.
The opinions on Mahomes and his ability to translate to the NFL level are wide-ranging, as evidenced by this tweet, courtesy of Bleacher Report's Ian Kenyon:
It can be argued that the disparity between Mahomes' floor and ceiling is larger than any quarterback prospect in recent memory, but Derrik Klassen of Optimum Scouting is among those who are mesmerized by his arm talent:
At 6'3" and 230 pounds, Mahomes has prototypical size at the position to go with his big-time arm.
He also boasts great mobility, with 845 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns in three seasons at Texas Tech.
Mahomes' skill set is rare, and it is easy to see why there is more intrigue surrounding him than previous Texas Tech quarterbacks, such as Graham Harrell, Kliff Kingsbury and B.J. Symons.
Another big year at Texas Tech could have solidified Mahomes as a first-round pick, but upcoming quarterback classes appear deeper and more talented than what 2017 has to offer.
Also, entering the draft saves Mahomes the risk of suffering further injury, which would have been a major concern with how often the Red Raiders throw the ball.
The draft is often about guesswork, and that is even truer when it comes to Mahomes, since scouts will be forced to differentiate his individual talent from the offense in which he played.
With so many teams looking for a franchise quarterback and so many question marks surrounding the other signal-callers in the 2017 class as well, however, Mahomes has a golden opportunity to secure a high selection with a strong predraft process.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.