Blog Entry

Combine Countdown -- QB Ryan Mallett

Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:27 pm
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Between today and the beginning of the NFL Combine Thursday, I'm going to list one player per position who I see as having the most riding on their performance. That means multiple updates each day, so keep tuning in.

You'll see a couple of overriding themes with the players I select. For one, many of them are underclassmen. Obviously, most of them have played in fewer games than the seniors, so talent evaluators are forced to make a greater projection. Also, whereas most seniors have previously been measured and timed, the underclassmen have not. If a player is shorter or lighter than NFL teams thought this week, he most likely will be an underclassmen.

The other theme you'll see me mention throughout these posts is that interviews and medical testing are infinitely more important to a players' grade than how fast they run, high they jump or times they can lift 225 pounds. Medical testing is critical for obvious reasons. Before you scoff at the importance of the interviews, recall yourself at 21 or 22. Can you honestly say, you'd work harder after someone presented you a multi-million dollar contract? Not many of us have that type of maturity. Not many players do either. And that is precisely who the great scouting teams are looking to weed out, regardless of how athletic they are.

Arkansas junior quarterback Ryan Mallett is the perfect prospect to lead off the series (at least in my humble opinion).

Mallett would be wise to do all of the testing in Indianapolis. His size and big arm will stand out next to the other quarterbacks. Even if he is inaccurate -- which he shouldn't be as he's typically at his best when his feet are set -- the velocity with which he throws will catch the attention of NFL coaches who haven't researched him for months like the scouts have.

Of course, of greater importance to Mallett's final grade will be how he handles the team (and, quite frankly, the media) interviews. Mallett is going to get hit with lots of questions about his so-called lack of leadership and reports of illegal drug use. The poise and honesty with which Mallett handles these questions could the difference in his landing in the first round -- as his passing ability warrants -- or slipping into the second or even third round. 

No quarterback - not even Cam Newton - has as much riding on their total Combine performance than Mallett.

For the very best in NFL Combine coverage, keep your eyes glued to NFLDraftScout.com and my and Chad Reuter's Twitter feeds. I'm @RobRang . He's @ChadReuter .
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Comments

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Combine Countdown -- QB Ryan Mallett

My question in regards to Mallett is why is it that we have NEVER heard of any off the field antics from this guy until now?  Ok, he got a PI in college, I know plenty of guys that did.  Has he smoked some weed?  Probably so, most guys in college do.  Did he throw for almost 8000 yards and 62 touchdowns in the toughest league in college football against teams keying on stopping him?  Yes  Was he voted team captain for 2 straight seasons by his teammates?  Yes  Did he set or break every passing record for a quarterback at Arkansas?  Yes   Did he throw for more yards and more touchdowns in 2 seasons then either Manning and Stafford over the same amount of time?  Yes   Did he run a pro-style, difficult offense in college and know a 600 play playbook like the back of his hand?  Yes  Was Petrino so comfortable with him in his offense to allow Mallett to audible at the line of scrimmage?  Yes   Is he the ONLY quarterback mentioned in the first 2 rounds that has the ability to come in a start next season without having to adjust to a pro style offense?  Yes

Mallett is a franchise quarterback and until there is PROOF of off the field issues, real proof and not just talk from people like the idiot Todd McShay then this is just talk. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com