2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Ryan Mallett
Ryan Mallett, aka “Big Tex”, was one of the most coveted quarterbacks coming out of the 2007 NCAA recruiting class. He started his career in Michigan under Head Coach Lloyd Carr. Mallett saw limited time as he was a true freshman backing up experienced Chad Henne.
The arrival of Rich Rodriguez did not fit Mallett’s style of play. Rodriquez wanted smaller, fast quarterbacks who could throw on the run, and Mallett, the former #4 overall recruit in the nation, was a pure drop-back passer.
Here enters Arkansas, where Mallett was forced to sit and redshirt in 2008 due to NCAA Division I transfer rules. He started every game for the Razorbacks in 2009, and posted over a 9 yard per attempt average on his passes. He emerged as a Heisman sleeper for 2010 on a rising Arkansas team who went on to earn a Sugar Bowl bid after a 10-2 regular season with their only two losses against Alabama and Auburn.
Player Name: Ryan Mallett
Hand: 10 3/4
Mallett’s number one strength is the strength of his arm. He can throw the football all over the field, able to make all of the NFL throws. Mallett has a quick release out of the pocket and a solid throwing motion and mechanics. He rarely throws off balanced, generally getting a good plant off his front foot. His delivery is quick and effortless, and he makes throws downfield look easy. He does a great job selling the play action, and his ideal height is great for his field vision.
Mallett’s biggest weakness is his overall accuracy and decision making. He’s a risk taker downfield, which can lead to interceptions, especially at the next level. While his intermediate accuracy over the middle of the field has improved, it’s still just slightly above average. He struggles with touch on shorter passers, sometimes having too much velocity. At times he can be too confident in his arm often forcing a play in a tight space. Mallett’s intangibles may be in question, as there have been rumblings that he’s a bit arrogant and has turned people in the locker room off. The latest rumors are swirling that Mallett has been a frequent cocaine and marijuana user. If confirmed, that could be a major red flag for him.
After declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft shortly after a Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State, Mallett’s stock sits as a first round grade. Personally, I see a Top 10 talent, with a lot still untapped. With the right coaching Mallett could become a superstar in the NFL. However, with his big arm and questionable accuracy, some comparisons to Derek Anderson have risen. He is a smart quarterback, with uncanny physical ability, and he should be able to fare better than the former Oregon State product.
Unfortunately, his potential character concerns could help him free fall. He could go in the Top 15, or he could slide to the 2nd round, if not further. It’s going to be interesting to see what, if anything, becomes of the cocaine allegations.
NFL Comparison: Philip Rivers