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: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:16 am

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Ryan Mallet while probably most likely either a mild head case or growing nutt job... still has that arm, size and talent. Put him with the right NFL Quarterback Coach and you just never know. Tom Brady was no shining star when he was drafted and neither was Drew Brees but look at them now. Yes I knwo thereare differences bewteen the players in my analogy however the poit  remains the same. Put him with the right Coach he grows into the role... he gets drafted by someone like Al Davis and well... he becomes another Ryan Leaf!

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:52 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

"Body language" is overblown, I think.

I would be seriously concerned about Mallett's late-game gaffes though.  No matter how good he is, if he's giving away games late, he's not the guy you want under center on an NFL team.  It's too much to overcome.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 7, 2011 10:57 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Two chances to win a bowl game; and out of those two chances, a goose egg.  Not a guy I draft with anything but a fourth rounder.  How can you justify that when he throws an interception every time he has pressure in his face and has a game to win.  Is he a former USC qb?
When you have a disgusting offensive line and terrible protection in big games interceptions are going to happen.  And by the way, they didn't lose their last game because of Mallett. They lost their last game because a moron surrounded by his entire special teams unit got so excited he couldn't keep his composure and pick up a blocked punt and run it in for 10 yards.  If he does that, the game is over.  He fell for no reason whatsoever...  THAT is why they lost....

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:56 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Two chances to win a bowl game; and out of those two chances, a goose egg.  Not a guy I draft with anything but a fourth rounder.  How can you justify that when he throws an interception every time he has pressure in his face and has a game to win.  Is he a former USC qb?

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:47 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

Scouts in the NFL are wrong just as many times as they are right.  I could right a book with examples and proof of how wrong they have been.  Judge talks about the difference from good qb's to great is the ability to close out games and lists big ben, brady and Manning as examples.  Brady was drafted in the 6th round for God sakes... and even Ben was drafted 11th overall so 10 teams passed on him as well.

I still remember scouts UNANIMOUSLY talking about how awesome jamarcus russell was going to be. All i saw is highlights of the guy throwing 50 yards from his knees.  The Lions drafted Joey "comeback" Harrington exactly where the SCOUTS said he would go.   Drew Brees was a second round pick, look at him now.  Eli Manning, superbowl victory and all is a joke and as much as I hate the guy, Big Ben is 100 times the qb that idiot is but the scouts got that wrong too. Twenty three teams thought Aaron Rodgers wasn't that great and the scouts had Alex Smith rated near the top that same year ... how did SF do with that pick? Where's Rodgers now?  Yeah, Byron Leftwich was an awesome pick at number 7 overall.. way to go scouts.   Matt Leinart at number 10 overall?  That's what the scouts said.  Great prototype NFL qb they said... yeah, great job !!!  In 2007 the scouts had russell and quinn in the first round and kevin kolb in the middle of the 2nd. Kolb has more talent then both those guys combined.

Scouts get it wrong all the time.. especially with quarterbacks....  Ryan Mallett might become a GREAT qb.. and the more "scouts" say he's not great the more I think he's going to be a steal for whoever drafts him.  The kid can play football.... I don't think Arkansas had a very good team... not nearly as good as their record... he was a big reason whey they did as well as they did.  We'll see how Arkansas does next year without Mallett leading the way...

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:15 pm

How good is Ryan Mallett?

I could definitely see him dropping much like Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn did.

The question is which one is he? Is he going to be a nice pro like Rodgers or a bust like Quinn?

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