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Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) throws a pass against the Baylor in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
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ESPN’s Kiper: Patrick Mahomes is ‘really the hot guy right now’

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) throws a pass against the Baylor in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
LISTEN: Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN NFL Draft Guru

Opinions of the 2017 NFL Draft’s quarterback class are generally mixed, though one thing most agree on is that none of the top prospects are sure things.

Is there talent? Absolutely, yet each player offers reason to think their future does not involve them being franchise passers.

One of the most polarizing players in this group is Patrick Mahomes, the Texas Tech QB who has incredible physical tools but comes from a pass-happy offense and is seen as someone who will need time to learn how to be an NFL QB.

The Cardinals can offer some time, which is one of the reasons they have been linked to Mahomes. With the 13th overall pick in the first round, Arizona could be in prime position to select him, and ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. could see it happening.

“I would look at Patrick Mahomes as a possibility, mid-first round out of Texas Tech,” he told Off the Edge with B-Train on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “You think about Jared Goff, comes out of the same offense, he went number one last year; people say that offense doesn’t produce quality starting quarterbacks.

“But you think about what Mahomes brings to the table, he’s got a big-time arm, I think Bruce Arians is looking to throw down the field, he would be afforded some time behind Carson Palmer. I think it would be a good spot for Patrick Mahomes.”

Kiper added he thinks Mahomes at 13 would be an overdraft, but he noted that’s the way things work with quarterbacks these days.

As for the other quarterbacks who will be available, Kiper said North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky is likely to be a top-10 pick, which then leads to Mahomes, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.

He added Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman has been rising up boards, as well as Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs. And while he himself is not particularly high on California’s Davis Webb, he said some teams are.

“But I think you look at the quarterbacks, everybody’s kind of all over the place in terms of opinions,” he said. “You cannot build a consensus from the league on any of these quarterbacks, so it’s going to be fun come next Thursday and Friday and Saturday to see how this all shakes down, where these quarterbacks go.”

More than that, even, Kiper said it will be important for the quarterbacks to land with the right teams.

“I think Arizona would be a good spot for Mahomes — you keep hearing Houston likes Mahomes — Mahomes is really the hot guy right now,” he said. “Kizer, there’s a lot of mixed opinion… watching him this year struggle with accuracy, held the ball way too long. Didn’t just seem like he was in line and really working in unison with his receivers.”

Kiper said part of what hurt Kizer was a change in his supporting cast, but said the QB himself bore some responsibility for an inconsistent season.

“I think DeShone Kizer needed another year. He’s not going to benefit from that,” he said. “He’s coming out. I have him rated as a third-round pick, but you’ve got to believe he’s going to go higher than that.”

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