Blog Entry

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Posted on: January 7, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 4:19 pm

Now that Ryan Mallett is going to the pros I have two questions: Where does he go and what are the concerns?

So I contacted a couple of scouts I trust, both of whom agreed that Mallett is a first-round pick, though maybe not a high one. OK, I think we expected that. But both voiced concerns about a couple of hiccups on Mallett's resume, too  -- like his inability to close out big-time games and his body language.

The former was evident in this week's 31-26 loss to Ohio State when Arkansas threatened to catch the Buckeyes, only to have Mallett throw a game-ending interception. I know it happens. Only it happened before ... and in another big game. Try last September's 24-20 loss to Alabama when Mallett staked the Razorbacks to a 20-7 lead, then punctuated their last two drives with interceptions.

"He just doesn't seem to have the ability to put it over the top," said one NFC scout."I'm not saying he's a choker because he's big and can throw the ball. But he can't seem to finish big games."

That could be a problem. The quality that separates guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees from others is their ability to produce critical plays at critical times, and I didn't see that from Mallett. Neither did our scouts, who gushed about the guy's arm, size and accuracy but who also pointed out that Mariano Rivera he's not.

"It's got to be a worry," said an AFC scout. "It could be the difference from being the 10th player taken to the 20th to the 30th. It's certainly an issue, let's put it like that."

But so is Mallett's demeanor. I confess that I didn't see all that much of him this fall, but when I did I noticed his body language enough that I mentioned it to our consultants.

"You said it, not me," said one. "But it's a problem. Especially for the position. I know there's been a lot of talk about it in video rooms, and maybe you buy into it, maybe not. But I know some guys have an issue with it."

One who did was an NFC scout who conceded he hadn't seen Mallett outside of three or four games on TV this season. He raved about Mallett's talent, but then he complained about his demeanor and football IQ.

"I'm not sure if he's a real confident kid," he said. "You know whom he reminds me of? Tim Couch. A talented kid who doesn't have the makeup to be great at that position. He may be a good quarterback at the next level, but that body language bothers me. Players don't respect a quarterback who gets down with each interception."

Tim Couch was the first pick of the 1999 draft. Ryan Mallett will not be the first pick of the 2011 draft. But he will be a first-round draft choice. He has an abundance of talent, and quarterbacks with his size, accuracy and talent are prized. But buyer, beware: It can be the intangibles that make a quarterback special, with Brady the best example. One head coach who worked him out prior to the 2000 draft told me that's where he and his team missed on the guy.

Maybe someone hits on Mallett; maybe not. All I know is that there are a couple of alarms that need to be addressed  -- and will be in the coming months.


Category: NFL

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2011 12:04 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

He really needed another year in college to gain confidence.  I wouldn't touch him.  I see another Todd Marinovich. 

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2011 7:31 am

How good is Ryan Mallett?

I have no idea how good Mallett will be in the NFL. I don't believe winning or losing a big game in college is a good indicator of how he will do. If the entire Arkansas team were to get drafted with him it might be a concern. Judge uses Peyton Manning as an example. I do know Manning never beat my Gators in his time at Tennessee and we consider that a big game. It seems Manning has done alright in the NFL.

Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:28 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

"He just doesn't seem to have the ability to put it over the top," said one NFC scout. "I'm not saying he's a choker because he's big and can throw the ball. But he can't seem to finish big games."

Ok, in regards to the unhighlighted comments above this seems like they're describing Chad Henne.  

And, in regards to the highlighted comment; wow. Looks to me like this so-called "NFC Scout" puts the moron in oxymoron. Just sayin' 

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: January 9, 2011 8:07 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Demeanor?  That provokes laughter.  Nobody really know what's in his head.  They are just projecting something that may not be true at all.  It's a subjective notion.   And don't let his accent fool you about "football IQ" when he's talking.  Interested teams will have opportunity to watch him work out and interview him.

Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2011 2:25 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

I don't understand some of the comments about Mallett by the "experts". Most say that they have only seen Mallett play a few times this year, and then complain that he falls apart during big games. He didn't fall apart during the LSU game, or the Mississippi State game or the South Carolina game. All of those games were big and were against Nationally ranked teams. I really don't see that he was the problem in the Ohio State game either. Sure he threw a late pick, but he had a pretty good game. There were probably 10 drops in this game, three would have almost certainly led to touchdowns. That is something that hasn't happened all year to Arkansas. Mallett didn't get frustrated with the drops, he kept delivering the ball to his receivers. On the last two drives for Arkansas there was a drop by Lance Ray and later another drop by DJ Williams. This loss was a team effort and shouldn't be placed on Mallett. He kept fighting back and made it a close game in the end. As for his body language, I have seen him get fired up after an int. Obviously that wasn't the case in this game as there was less than a  minute on the clock and no chance fora comeback.                                                                                                                                                                                          I can see Mallet going to either the Titans or Vikings and making the playoffs next year. There are lots of teams that need a QB next year, and Mallett will get his chance, the team he lands on will have a larger impact on how well he does than his body language.

Since: May 3, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2011 8:00 am

How good is Ryan Mallett?

i'm hoping the vikings can steal him early in the second round

Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2011 4:37 am

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Everyone was leary of taking Rodgers because of injury issues, taking the NFL type hits and lasting a 16-game season.  It had nothing to do with his development.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2011 3:18 am

How good is Ryan Mallett?

I see that some people here are still whining about the 49ers drafting Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. At the time the 49ers made the best choice they could. They wanted to trade the pick away but found no takers. For all you haters out there Jeff Tedford did a great job in developing college QB's. You might have heard of the QB's he worked with who were top 10 picks in the draft: Akili Smith, David Carr, and Joey Harrington. At the time of the 2005 draft none of the three had done anything great in the NFL. So you can understand why the 49ers were leery in choosing Rodgers. Given Tedford's history you would also make the same conclusion. Aaron Rodgers is not destined for greatness. Remember he sat behind Brett Favre for a few years so he was able to sit and learn. Alex Smith had to learn on the job. Even after learning from Favre for several years Rodgers still took a few more years to learn how to be a good NFL QB.....and from what we have seen this season....he is still learning. Don't get me wrong. Aaron Rodgers would have been great with the 49ers. Because if Rodgers was struggling the 49ers were only a short commute away from talking to Coach Tedford and asking him how to to solve Rodgers' weird throwing mechanics. Tedford likes his QB's to raise the ball to the decal of the helmet...yes, it's higher up than what most coaches teach....maybe that's why all his highly drafted QB's turned out to be busts in the NFL. No, I don't dislike Cal. I rooted for them for many years. But this year I stopped watching their games because I got tired of seeing Tedford ruin the Bears. Harbaugh's Stanford teams have improved every year while Tedford's Bears' teams have gotten worse each year.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2011 2:01 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Live it, love it. learn it. Bucks had way more talent.
Right. That's why if not for the guy recovering the fumble from the punt falling down on his own with his entire team around him you should and 99.9 percent of the time would have lost.   And one more question, how many sec teams have your Bucks beat??  Yeah... you dominate dude.

Since: Jan 8, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

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