Fact or Fiction: Ryan Mallett will be a Pro Bowl NFL Quarterback

Apr 19, 2011


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There isn’t a more polarizing figure in the 2011 NFL Draft than Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.
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He has thrived in the SEC the past two seasons throwing 62 touchdown passes with just 19 interceptions. He threw for 357 yards against Alabama, but his three interceptions cost his Razorbacks the chance of upsetting the #1 Crimson Tide. He was knocked out of the Auburn game, but was able to come back the next week to beat Houston Nutt’s Mississippi. He led an amazing comeback in the Sugar Bowl, only to have it fall short when he threw an untimely interception. Mallett is a complete mixture of brilliant and bonehead that has NFL teams at odds when it comes to his prospects at the next level.
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Physically there is not question that he has what it takes to play at the next level. At 6’7″, 238 pounds, Mallett certainly passes the eyeball test. When he unleashes his cannon, there are no concerns that there are any NFL passes that he can’t make. Unfortunately for Mallett, there are other factors that NFL teams consider. Sure he’s a big kid with a big arm, but he also has a reputation of being a big party boy. It’s those concerns that have teams wondering if he has the makeup to be a franchise quarterback.
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Mallett did not handle himself well at the NFL Combine. There were rumors circulating about his rampant drug use. He is reported to have admitted his drug use at the Combine. While that doesn’t automatically make Mallett a failure, it doesn’t stop the questions from echoing loudly. Even if he did party it up at school, that doesn’t mean he won’t take the NFL serious. While Matt Leinart was a party boy gone bad, Jim McMahon was able to have a respectable career. Big Ben isn’t necessarily the best person to be compared to from a moral standpoint, but his success on the field cannot be called to question. The point is you don’t have to be squeaky clean like Kurt Warner to be a good NFL quarterback.
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Where Mallett lands is anybody’s guess. The earliest I could see him go is number ten to Washington. Daniel Snyder is brazen enough to make that pick. The Vikings at 12, the Dolphins at 15, the Jaguars at 16, and the Seahawks at 25 are also in need of a quarterback. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tennessee would be willing to give the Patriots the 39th pick and additional compensation to move up to 28 if  Mallett is still on the board. If Washington passes on a quarterback with their first pick, they could possibly move up to get him as well.
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Mallett’s success will depend on his landing spot. If he lands in Minnesota with Percy Harvin or in Miami with Brandon Marshall, he is more likely to experience early success. If he goes to Washington or Jacksonville, he may struggle. I would think he’d prosper in Seattle as Pete Carroll has the demeanor to work well with a guy like Mallett.
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Physically I think Mallett has the makings of a Pro Bowl NFL quarterback. I’m just a bit leery about his mental makeup. My guess is I have that in common with 32 NFL teams.
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Click here to see my most recent 2011 NFL Mock Draft.

Posted by | Categories: NFL, NFL Draft | Tagged: 2011 NFL Draft, NFL, NFL Draft, Ryan Mallett |
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