No huge shock here, but Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has made it official he will enter the 2011 NFL Draft. The redshirt junior still has a year of eligibility left at Arkansas due to his transfer from Michigan, but the time has come for the talented quarterback to take his talents to the next level. Mallett made the announcement official through a school press release, showing his deepest thanks to the Arkansas community for their support over the last three years.
"Playing in the NFL is a goal of mine and I am grateful to the people that have prepared me to take the next step. Coach (Bobby) Petrino is a winner, a man of character and the hardest worker I have ever seen. I'd also like to thank Coach (Garrick) McGee for everything he has done for me and in particular helping develop my mental approach to the game. The leadership of Chancellor David Gearhart and Director of Athletics Jeff Long is a model for me and I am extremely appreciative of the tireless work they do for all University of Arkansas students every day. The Razorback fans are the greatest in the country and their support for me and the team throughout my career has been humbling. Arkansas is where my heart is and I'm proud to say that I will always be a Razorback."
Mallett led the SEC in passing touchdowns (32), passing yards (3,869), and finished the season with a 64.7% completion percentage. He is projected to fall in the top half of the first round, including as high as #8 in a recent CBSSports.com Mock Draft. With his 6-6, 238 pound frame, Mallett has the physical attributes to step right in and make an immediate impact for an NFL team. He'll be missed in Fayetteville, but his departure really isn't much of a surprise to Razorback fans.