Ryan Mallett: Any chance of some perspective?

Yes, this is a picture of Ryan Mallett and Snoop Dogg

Ryan Mallett significantly improved his stock at the combine. What’s wrong with that suggestion? It goes against the media consensus but maybe it’s true?   

Here’s the timeline for Mallett’s media massacre, dating all the way back to last year:   

January 2010– Mallett decides not to declare for 2010 draft andreturns for a second year starting in Bobby Petrino’s offense. High profile pundits criticise his height, touch, accuracy, lack of mobility and ability to win tough games on the road.   

February 2010– Breaks foot during conditioning drills and he’ll be forced to miss all of Spring practise. Critics voice concern about Mallett’s ability to work on his faults.   

September 2010– Mallett, now fully healed, throws for 1698 yards in his first five games (4-1) of the 2010 season – scoring thirteen touchdowns in the process. Arkansas win key games at Georgia and Texas A&M, but defeat to #1 ranked Alabama sticks in the throat when a double interception in the fourth quarter leads to defeat. Critics focus on the key final pick when, under pressure, Mallett is forced to re-adjust his feet and throw off balance – costing Arkansas a chance to win.   

September 2010 – Speculation begins surrounding potential off the field concerns. Wes Bunting from the NFP tweets: “I talked to a scout the other day that said, ‘I got stuff on Mallett that nobody knows about’ there are a lot of concerns on him personally.”   

October-December 2010– Arkansas doesn’t lose another regular season game under Mallett’s leadership. The Hogs only defeat comes against eventual BCS Champions Auburn when Mallett is forced to leave the game early with a concussion. Impressive wins against Mississippi State (A), South Carolina (A) and LSU (H) lead to a first BCS bowl appearance in the team’s history.   

January 2011– Mallett’s Arkansas lose the Sugar Bowl to Ohio State after a second-half comeback falls short. Deja vu strikes as Mallett throws another late interception off balance to kill the game, re-opening wounds from the Alabama defeat earlier that season. Critics continue to focus on the footwork problem despite a 3869 yard season that included 32 passing touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.   

January 2011– By the end of the 2010 season, Mallett made major strides across the board. He improved his completion percentage from 56% in 2009 to 65% in 2010. His accuracy and touch had greatly improved, as did his willingness to check down. He continued to show strongly progressing through reads and didn’t rely as much on his big arm. Mallett controlled the offense and was given responsibility to adjust plays at the line of scrimmage. The other issue – wins on the road – was improved with Arkansas’ only official road defeat coming in the Mallett-less shoot-out against #1 Auburn,   

January 2011A website called ‘Draft Monsters’ publishes an article suggesting Mallett has drug abuse problems, citing unnamed sources.   

January 2011– Mallett dramatically and suddenly drops out of Mel Kiper’s top-25 big board, despite being as high as #11 previously. Kiper claims mechanical problems are the issue, but the example he uses (vs Alabama) is a game he previously analysed in detail during the season.   

February 2011 – Negative publicity continues as drug rumors pick up pace. ESPN 101’s Tony Softli regurgitates the speculation. Doug Farrar in his ‘Shutdown 40’ series states: “As much as I don’t enjoy writing profoundly negative scouting reports of draft prospects, Mallett has as many warning flags as any potential first-round quarterback I’ve ever seen.”   

February 2011– Mallett heads to the scouting combine under a blaze of negative publicity. His introductory press conference is dominated by questions relating to speculated drug abuse:   


Farrar labels the conference ‘a meltdown’, listed Mallett among his combine ‘losers’ and wrote, “the way he handled his abbreviated press conference didn’t just add to the questions; it also perpetuated the perception of Mallett as a person who is defensive in all the wrong ways.” This was an opinion shared by many. Evan Silva lists Mallett as his #1 combine ‘faller’, using the term ‘train wreck’ and suggesting he could fall into round three

Follow the relevant media and you’d be forgiven for thinking Mallett’s last 12-14 months have been an utter train wreck.   

It leads us to today, March 2nd, with the combine in the books. The name Ryan Mallett hasn’t been barely mentioned since he left Indianapolis on a plane having completed quarterback drills at the combine. Attentions turned obviously to the defensive lineman, linebackers and defensive backs – but the Mallett soap opera was still conspicuous by it’s absence after Sunday.   

Am I missing something here? Is somebody sat on an enormous scoop that’s going to destroy the guy’s stock even more? This is a person the media have used as a pawn in their draft coverage – the evil villain so to speak among the Patrick Peterson’s, Von Miller’s and Prince Amukamara’s out there. After all – we need a bad news angle, right?   

So why has the Mallett character assassination (is that too strong? arguably not) ceased to such a grand halt? After his perceived poor public appearance on Saturday, I felt sure we’d hear all about how teams were repulsed by his performance and how it carried on into private team interviews. This was a story that had legs, so why would it stop?   

Len Pasquarelli at CBS Sportsline has a logical reason:   

“Despite a Saturday afternoon media session in which some felt that quarterback Ryan Mallett was caustic and evasive when questioned about the drug allegations surrounding him, most league franchises that subjected the former Arkansas star to a closed door interview came away impressed with him. Three teams that met with Mallett at the combine said they had no problems with his responses to the drug allegations or with his demeanor.”   

Admittedly this is focused on private team meetings and the media has no direct access to the productivity of those. Nobody is leaking that they went badly though and Pasquarelli’s sources suggest he actually performed well.   

My take on the introductory presser was rather than suffer a ‘meltdown’, Mallett almost certainly dealt with it in the best way possible. It was a tough situation and he knew it – what exactly would’ve been a good way of dealing with it? Denying allegations only to be labelled a liar if they prove true? Admitting mistakes and making it a public talking point? Teams don’t want to see him discussing such loaded topics with the press. After five questions on the subject, he politely calls a halt to proceedings and leaves the podium – he hardly storms off the stage as some outlets have suggested.   

Mallett performed well in drills – perhaps better than any other quarterback – and there have been no negative reports from his interviews. The conclusion? He’s poured ice-cold water all over the blazing fire surrounding his draft stock. Teams who may have had concern with his off the field persona might have been impressed with the way he handled himself.   

I’ve always considered Mallett a top-15 talent on the field with doubts off it. I felt the combine would define his stock because if anything was going to come out into the open – it’d be now. That hasn’t happened, no skeletons leaving the closet. We still don’t know if the reported drug abuse is true or to what extent it may be true but nobody has been able to nail down exact details. No journalist or team representative has put credence to the speculation.   

That in itself has to be constituted as a success. The fact he performed well and reportedly interviewed well is another significant bonus.  

It doesn’t mean I think he’ll be a top ten pick all of a sudden – he may easily drop into round two as I’ve projected for some time. Perspective is vital though and I don’t see many others willing to consider the possibility that actually – Mallett had a pretty good weekend.   

This tweet courtesy of ‘Sports by Brooks’ is interesting if unsubstantiated and lacking detail. Potential sabotage adds a nice twist to the tale, but it’s as ambitious at this point as those trying to claim Mallett suffered a meltdown during his presser.   

What I want to convey and will represent in my next mock (published later today, so stay tuned) is the argument that Mallett did have a more positive experience at the combine than some believe. I’m not saying a fall isn’t still possible, but let’s not rule out someone acknowledging his on-field talents and being satisfied enough with his off-field personality to roll the dice on a player with big-time potential.


  1. Cassius

    I think all of this negative attention is a gift for the seahawks. After making the playoffs and going from a top 10 pick to 25th this is exactly what they needed to land a top tier qb. If he’s available at 25 and the seahawks dont draft him I’ll be very disappointed.

    • Rob

      I can see reasons why the Seahawks would pass – namely the scheme they have opted to run going forward and the relative mobility it requires from the QB position. Even if you ignore the overly negative press, it’s still a stretch to see Mallett as the poster boy for the ‘All In’ Pete Carroll era. However, you also can’t sit around waiting for the perfect quarterback to fall to you, especially if the intention is to continue picking in the 20’s or (one day) the 30’s. We have to consider Mallett’s positives – arm strength, improving accuracy, ability to diagnose a defense and progress through his reads better than maybe any other college QB. He isn’t a statue like some have suggested, but he isn’t going to be running boot legs.

      Drafting Mallett would go against some aspects that this franchise has preached, but I’d argue they’d need a better reason than that alone to ignore pass up on the guy. Tailor the offense around him – give him a year to settle in. I have no doubts what so ever he can’t have an impact in the NFL.

      • Cassius

        As you’ve mentioned before, any qb that the seahawks have a chance to draft is going to have some red flags. I think mallet is worth the risk. If your offensive coordinator can’t make a franchise qb work in his scheme then get a new coordinator. Good qbs are a lot harder to come by.

        Do you know if the seahawks were one of the teams to interview mallet in indy?

        • Meat

          I am also curious what teams interviewed Mallet. I am still confused why the hawks interviewed Newton.. Trading in pics wouldn’t get the Hawks in the top 10, and I cannot see Newton and Gabbert falling beyond 10-15th. That being said there should be Locker and Mallet, Ponder (who Clayton feels would be the best pick for the hawks at 25 instead of Locker) at 25th pick. The word is the Hawks and Matt Hass is very far apart on reaching a deal.. If that is true than a first round pick on a QB is needed and waiting to the end of the second round will not give the Hawks a good QB option. Ponder looked fine, I am no scout, but I dont see why Clayton likes Ponder over Locker…I am puzzled.. I have to say, Matt needs to be signed for 1-2 years, but I would guess Matt and his agent are looking for his last big payday and looking for a longer deal. I am sure they are asking for more than he is worth. Matt is no longer one of the top QB’s in the NFL.. He shouldn’t expect big money for his performance and his age. My opinion..

          • Rob

            I presume the Seahawks interviewing Cam Newton is just due dilligence on the top quarterbacks. As for Ponder – I still wouldn’t been keen in round three, let alone at #25.

        • Bill Bobaggins

          Mallett met with the Titans, Jaguars, Dolphins, Redskins, Bengals, Bills, Cardinals, Panthers, 49ers, Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, among others, sources said.


          • Rob

            Thank you for that information Bill, appreciated.

          • Meat

            Thanks! Includes a number of the teams that need QB.

            Rob-Glad you feel the same way I do about Ponder.. I was wondering if I was missing something because I haven’t seen film and he didnt stick out as others did in the combine when I watched…. Clayton is a genius, so i was SO surprised that he thinks Ponder is warrant a first round pick by the Hawks, or ANY team. Especially over Mallet and Locker

  2. Brendan

    Great post. Its amazing that they would consider that interview a blow up. I really liked what he had to say. He is a confident guy that believes in his abilities. I buy. And although he may not be mobile I didn’t see anything that would lead me to believe that he wouldn’t fit into Pete Carrol’s ‘all in’ montra. If I were to guess, I bet that Mallet smokes pot. You know who else smoked or smokes pot? The president of the United States, Micheal Phelps (14 gold metals). No way was that interview damning to him and like he said – look at his production.

    Screw the media I am a buyer.

  3. Matt (Myster)

    This is a great read and I admire how you take a contrarian-but-oh-so-rational perspective on Mallett. I certainly respect Farrar’s analytical work, but he is just another blogger who behaves like a silly dog on the porch when all the other dogs in the neighborhood start yapping: he joins right in without a thought. Sadly, there are many more just like him. I think a lot of the sports media is completely irresponsible and inconsistent most of the time, but the Mallett non-story is a particularly low point.

  4. Benjamin Allbright

    As the owner of NFL Draft Monsters, and writer of the particular article about Mallett mentioned in this blog, I would like to point out that you have a few factual errors in this post.

    1. Tony Softli didn’t “regurgitate speculation supplied by [us]” his assertions were entirely different, though pertaining to the same subject matter. It should be noted that Softli mentioned that “teams” were aware of his past drug use, prior to his decision to stay at Arkansas LAST season (and Softli indicated that this was the reason he went back to Arkansas rather than declaring then…

    2. Tony Softli also isn’t just someone who writes for ESPN.com, he’s the former scouting director for the Carolina Panthers, and the former Director of PLayer Personnel for the St Louis Rams. He’s very well connected and very well informed, within the scouting community.

    Thank you, and have a nice day,
    Benjamin Allbright

    • Meat

      I shouldn’t reply.. Not my place..But…Draft blog…that is what that title states.. Forgive me, but I didn’t see “cheerleader fluff piece”.

      Nice article Rob, and I respect your response to a person that suggests you contact him, yet did not have the decency to contact you before posting a response to the blog piece…

    • Billy Showbiz

      I don’t know, it didn’t really look like a cheerleader fluff piece to me unless that is what you call any article based on speculation that goes against the grain of the so called experts. You make it sound as if it is not okay for reporters to have differing views on the same issue. Maybe Rob is wrong and Mallett is a full blown drug addict and maybe you are the only reporter out there who knows this to be absolutely true. Then why withold the information? Show off just how great of an investigative journalist you are and maybe we’ll see you writing for ESPN. If you are right we certainly would like to know about it and more importantly I’m certain that the Seahawks front office would like to know. Come on Albright, lets see what you’ve got!

    • Alan

      Dear Benjamin,

      Seriously? You’re still “holding back information” on Ryan Mallett? We’re really supposed to believe that you published rumors about alleged drug use or other allegations and yet you’re (nobly? thoughtfully?) “holding back information” so as to what?…To protect Ryan’s good name that you’ve already besmirched? C’mon man, you’ve really got to be kidding yourself that anyone on this planet really believes you’ve got “special secret information” on Mallett that you’re “holding back” for just the right time. This isn’t Watergate and you don’t have a secret informant or hidden news. It may be that Mallett has some issue or issues in his past, but if it was really substantiated and not just rumor or heresay then it would have been rolled out by the first media personality at the first possible moment in order to get the “scoop” and win some kind of attention/job/hoped-for industry credibility.
      I’m not a fan of Arkansas, I’m not a fan of Mallett other than he was an outstanding college QB this past season, and I have no media connections, so my only reasoning to leave a comment is the fact that I agree with Rob – that the process of character assassination by the media has been silly at best and repugnant at worst. It’s also hypocritical when one athlete is signaled out for allegations and another athlete gets 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th chances for much worse and substantiated “issues.” I am left to speculate that the only reason such hypocrisy goes on is because of personal aspirations and media agendas, which if true, is sad and regrettable.

      • Benjamin Allbright

        The initial reply I sent to Rob for this article was probably unprofessional of me, as such, I have asked him to delete it via email (as well as explained the reasons I sent it).

        As for the other responses here, the reason we’re still holding some things back regarding Mallett is that we have been unable to corroborate them beyond a shadow of a doubt, like we were with the initial post.

        For the record, I AM an Arkansas fan, lived there for ten years, so I don’t want people to think this is some kind of headline grab/publicity stunt/smear campaign. It is just us reporting news.

        Rob, I wish you and your readers the best, and again I publicly extend an apology for the initial comment.

        • Cash

          You should cause controversy on more sites and then retract it. It’s good biz. You just gained another twitter follower out of me.

        • Alex

          That’s a fair response.

          • Rob

            Benjamin raised some very valid points and actually everything he said is true and I should know better. I would also stress that I visit the Draft Monsters site regularly and absolutely believe they provide excellent content and a point of reference for draft blogs such as this. I don’t want to censor this blog and people need to know they can come on here and be critical any time they like. I appreciate Ben’s apology for a couple of remarks (which I have removed) but wanted to keep the jist of his original complaint because he absolutely has a right to reply – I linked to his blog after all.

            Benjamin – I haven’t received your email (not sure if it’s a problem with my inbox or yours). I just wanted to let you know that I’m not ignoring it but if you want to try and send it again – rob@seahawksdraftblog.com

  5. Jim Kelly

    Dan Marino and Bernie Kosar were not mobile qbs. Marino was less mobile than Kosar, yet Marino had more success. Why? Kosar would try to run, but it was like watching an epileptic flamingo try to do the tango. It was just painful.

    Marino couldn’t run. But he was smart. He knew his limitations, Don Shula knew them, and the offensive coordinator knew them. Marino and his coaches worked within his limitations. All Marino had to do was step up. He didn’t have to scramble. He just needed to buy one more second. If Ryan Mallett can learn to play within his own limitations, then he will be a good player. If he doesn’t learn to do that, then he’ll be another Kosar: a good player that never lived up to his potential, or others’ expectations.

    Other things also helped Marino. He had one of the greatest lines, and his complimentary skill players were really good. If the Seahawks want to draft Mallett, then they too, will have to address those issues.

    • Matt

      Completely agree. Firmly believe you build around the QB, not build a team then get the QB. We need athletic pass protectors if we draft Mallett and we need a true #1 WR. The nice thing is, you can get much better usage out of Deon Butler and Golden Tate with a QB like Mallett. His deep ball skills alone will improve the running game because defenses won’t be able to pin their ears back.

      If he’s sitting at 25, it’s a horrible mistake to not take him.

      • Meat

        Yes Yes yes! I agree with you Matt. I think w/ a QB like Mallet the Hawks would get better use out of Butler and Tate.. Also that being said, WR’s can take three years or so to really develop

    • Alex

      Marino is actually quite mobile. He isn’t mobile in the scrambler and improvising sense (Big Ben), but he does move extremely well in the pocket to avoid the rush.

      About Marino’s O Line and WRs. I don’t know about his later years, but that was true in his early years. He had the best center in the league at the time and I think two other Pro Bowl caliber OL players. He also had two Pro Bowl caliber WRs who were both able to get over 1200 yards (like a modern day Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne).
      The other thing that you forgot to mention though is that Marino also had a top 10 defense in his first three years and a top 5 defense under the final years with Jimmy Johnson (#1 in 98 I think).


    • Rob

      If the Seahawks were to draft Mallett (and it remains a big ‘if) then you are absolutely right Jim. Having said that, I think whoever starts at QB for the Seahawks will have to play behind an improved line with better talent at the skill positions. As Matt rightly says though, you should try to draft the QB and build around him, not try and create a perfect environment and ‘fit’ a quarterback in there. Work to the QB’s talents and limitations. That doesn’t mean you have to build while the rookie starts, but you can at least have him on the roster while you work towards the end goal.

  6. Nano

    Great stuff Rob. I’m of the mind that Mallett is just too talented to pass up if he’s there at 25. Quite honestly, even if the guy used cocaine now and then, I don’t really care. Ditto marijuana. Just as long as it’s in his past–I think his performance last season was proof that the kid has the motivation and focus to work on his game. He shows leadership and composure on the field. And even if you think the guy’s a bloat in interviews, he looks intelligent on the field. As intelligent as any QB to come out in recent years. And there’s also the fact that he has the best arm in the draft (that I’m aware of) since Matt Stafford.

    IMO, unless you know something more incriminating that would affect his ability to perform, you draft the guy if he’s there. And you build the team and offense around him. He needs to work on his footwork (avoid retreating when there’s pressure). But you can say that about most QB’s coming out.

    I hope we land the guy. I really do.

    • Rob

      I think it’s all about context, Nano. Obviously there are differences between being an ‘addict’ and social drug use on an isolated occassion or occassions. You make the correct point – it’s whether the issues still exist and whether they will affect his ability to perform.

      • Meat

        Exactly.. If people-media want to get technical, the DSM IV-TR includes the section on dependency.. Alcohol, 303.9, dependency-alcholic, is very very different compared to the diagnosis of Alcohol abuse, 305.00. Most people that have used alcohol in college, HS, or any age for that matter, if they were to go get a drug/alcohol assessment during the time of use they would easily be diagnosed with alcohol abuse-criteria is simply using a substance that causes you problems more then once in a 6-month-1yr period (MIP, DUI, blackouts, DV, fights, bad grades, blah blah blah.-negative outcomes no matter how big/small.. So the business of Mallet’s history a year or more and if he abused alchol is not important, but what if any his use is now.

  7. Ken

    As I look at and listen to Mallet 3 players come to mind; Phillip Rivers, Jay Cutler and Ryan Leaf. If you think his current issues are just maturity issues, then I think he becomes Rivers. If they are deeper character issues, then we may have another Leaf. Were I to bet, I’d put him somewhere in the middle and project him as most like Cutler, very talented, but not all that likeable.

    Which of the following players is Mallet more likely to perform like?

    a. Phillip Rivers
    b. Jay Cutler
    c. Ryan Leaf

    • Meat

      Cutler….? Big arm, explosive throws.. Not very mobile, not too likeable.. I hope not like Leaf.. Please not like leaf..And if the Hawks picked hiim up I could only hope he developed into a QB like Rivers.

    • Rob

      It’s a question I’d avoid personally, Ken. I think Rivers has always been cocky rather than immature and I think it’s something limited to game time – it’s part of what Rivers is and personally I think he’s an elite talent and the full package. As an on the field goal – getting to Rivers’ level is the best case scenario. Cutler is very talented but surly – and I don’t think Mallett is necessarily surly. Production wise he may have a similar entrance into the league. Leaf was a complete disaster zone as soon as he entered the league and it’d take something special for Mallett to match that.

      I think there are some maturity issues with Mallett, the question is whether they’ll simply be solved with responsibility and being around seasoned veterans in the locker room… or are they going to linger? I’m not sure there’s an obvious comparison already starting in the league.

    • Chavac

      Ha, as I was listening to the interview again I think about 3 times I said to myself “this guy reminds me of Rivers in SD”. Mallet is no Matt Hasselbeck but I think his personality is head and shoulders above Cutler, and I think I’d put him above Locker or Gabbert (maybe not in character, but in personality). In terms of ability and style I would probably drop him in between Cutler and River.

  8. Bill Bobaggins

    Check out this clip on Mallett from the combine. First of all, he talks about his individual team interviews. Good stuff.

    Also, as Rob stated, he’s not a statue w/ a cannon. You can see in the game footage in the clip that he’s fine with a boot leg. If you’re expecting a Vince Young type of player, you’re not getting that out of him. But, this is a passing league and I’d take a dude who can run a boot leg, stop and throw the ball 80 yards down field over a guy like VY.


    • Rob

      The issues with footwork are well advertised and very true – if he’s forced to move away from pressure and needs to re-set, then the mechanics really suffer when he throws off balance. It’s not something that really hurt him consistently during the season, but the incidents where it cost Arkansas came in two big defeats (Alabama, Ohio State). It’s the kind of thing that needs work but isn’t going to destroy him as a pro. It doesn’t mean he’s incapable of avoiding pressure and I recommend watching the games vs Texas A&M (SEC official site for the full game) for numerous examples where he avoided pressure and extended a play. Play action is a real strength with Mallett.

  9. Kelly

    I’m not saying this will happen but I recently saw a mock where Jake Locker, Ryan Mallet and Jimmy smith were all available at 25…so I ask the obvious question…who do you draft?

    1. Jake Locker: The Hometown kid who fits the “Seahawks Criteria” of a QB. Athleitc, Mobile, Decent arm, good work ethic but may be a little inaccurate at times. Remember though, how many times over the years we have seen Matt throw the quick 7 yard pass.

    2. Jimmy Smith: The tall. athletic CB, who seems a big cocky/over confident but looks like who would be able to shutdown the Fitzgeralds, Julio Jones (if he goes to St Louis) and the Crabtrees of the NFC west.

    3. Ryan Mallet: A strong armed QB, who personally to me, reminds me ALOT of Jay Cutler. A dynamite of an arm, but will never quite be a top 5 QB in the NFL due to some poor decisions, resulting in INT’s.

    I have liked what Pete Carroll has done with the team since he began last year, but at the same time i think the Seahawks need to get rid of the “Nice team from the west” stigma. Personally, teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Giants are downright nasty, cocky and confident and that always seems to give them an edge.

    • Chavac

      My order: 1) Mallet 2) Smith 3) Locker
      My guess at PC’s order: 1) Locker 2) Smith 3) Mallet

      But the more and more I pull my head out of the draftnik groupthink cloud I begin to think the wrong QB has been predicted to take an Aaron Rodgers fall. I mean read this article again and tell me Mallet is a 2nd round pick… at least he will probably remember his shoes when he runs at his pro day.

    • Bill Bobaggins

      Where do people get the idea that Mallett throws a lot of INT’s? If you’re referring to the bad decision INT’s that have lost him a couple of games, then I get it. I’ve seen people refer to him as an INT machine though. This kid is very accurate and doesn’t make bad decisions (generally) with the ball. 69 TD’s against 24 INT’s in 3 years is pretty fantastic.

      I’ve really never seen a kid so scrutinized and crucified by the media and fans without anything truly substantial. It’s kind of mind boggling.

      I hope he’s there at #25 and I hope the Hawks snag him.

  10. MEMH

    The lack of mobility is what bothers me with him but that doesn’t seem to hurt Rivers, Cutler type attitude – though Cutler is a horrible interview – I’ve never seen him as surly with the media as Mallett was, but Cutler had 4 TD’s in his first playoff game and made it to the NFC Championship. Gabbert is the only QB I like more than this guy, but I think I might draft Locker or Ponder before him.

    • Alex

      The only reason it doesn’t hurt Rivers is because of SCHEME. Rivers and Cutler as well (the two comparisons along with Leaf being thrown around here) both operate in the Air Coryell Offense run by Norv Turner and Mike Martz that requires timed routes and 7 step drop, vertical passing. Obviously, a rocket arm is a near must in that system while the mobility requirement is minimized. And frankly, IMO, Ryan Mallet’s attributes DOES fit the Mike Martz Air Coryell offense as he is A) not the most mobile and B) has a accurate rocket arm.

      On the other hand, the Seahawks ran the Mike Shanahan West Coast Offense last year where mobility, play action, throwing on the run, and have the run set up the pass are all key attributes. Not saying that you don’t stretch the field. The WCO does vertically stretch the field once you’ve spread the opponents out through short horizontal YAC passes and get the safeties closer to the LOS through the run game; however, the vertical game is not called as often.

      In other words, Ryan Mallet might not be the best fit especially when mobility is emphasized. The mobility aspect in the WCO is quite common. Joe Montana was an EXTREMELY mobile QB before his first injury. Bill Walsh drafted Montana in part because he had the best feet in his class. Steve Young is not only mobile, but also a running threat. Young’s successor, Jeff Garcia is also known as a highly mobile QB. In Denver, Elway and Plummer were both highly mobile QBs. Further, when Shanahan went to DC, he got McNabb in part because he is a mobile QB (along with the fact that he played in a different form of WCO under Reid).


  11. Ben

    Does Martez Wilson have Leo potential?

    • Rob

      I think he’d struggle against the run. Playing in space in the 3-4 it’s not as much of an issue, but with the LEO he’s pushed right up to the LOS.

  12. Rob

    There’s an updated mock draft available (go to the top of the page and select ‘Mock Draft’ from the title bar. I’ll have reaction and thoughts on it tomorrow but until then – let me know what you think.

    • Charlie

      I’ve always been very high on brooks reed, but do you think this is a little high for him? i wish he hadn’t blown his stock so high, that way we could get him and phil taylor! So would it be a better decision as a gm, if you want this guy, to move back some spots and get him a little later? plus maybe a late pick or a couple moves up in the second round

  13. Cliff

    I was reading a piece on NFL.com and found a small snippet on your favorite person in the draft, Jimmy Smith.

    “There is no lack of red flags regarding Colorado corner Jimmy Smith. His off-field issues are a big concern for many teams. It was certainly a big story at the combine. But according to one NFL coach, who has scouted the available corners at length, Smith is by far the best of the bunch.
    ‘He’s the most natural corner in the draft,’ the coach said.
    The coach said he has the best cover skills and that things seem to come instinctively to him. This coach, again, talking football only, greatly prefers Smith over Prince Amukamara or even Patrick Peterson. He said everything from the hips to ability to playing the ball worked in Smith’s favor. Perhaps Smith will end up being one of the steals of the draft, particularly if he falls beyond the second round.”


    I don’t see him falling into the second round but maybe he would fall a bit due to character concerns. Good work though Rob as you’ve been talking him up for a number of months now.

    • plyka

      I think Peterson is a generational type talent at the position. I have said this from day 1, but he should really be the #1 pick overall due to his talent level. I love Smith, but he’s just not in Peterson’s league in my opinion. Peterson is the most talented, by far, at his position, over any other player in the draft. And his position is the 2nd most important position on the field in my opinion. I think Newton may go #1, but i would go with Peterson.

      Still, the Hawks may have a chance at Smith at #25, while they literally have 0% chance of Peterson at 25. For the Hawks, Smith would be a great pick.

  14. Matt

    Hey Rob,

    Always appreciate you mixing up the mocks to spark conversation. Similar to the Sheard pick, I don’t hate it, but I am not sure that I personally could pass on Liuget, Taylor, Wilkerson, or even Sherrod for Reed (who I do really like). The 3 DTs/5 Techs, in my opinion, have a much greater talent level at positions more difficult to address. There’s a lot to like about Reed, but it’s much tougher to find 300 lb guys as athletic as those guys are. Not to mention, I think Liuget, Taylor, and especially Wilkerson offer scheme versatility where as Reed is a one trick pony.

    I’ve voiced my concern about using a 1st round pick on a RT, but in this case, I think Sherrod is able to play LT in case of emergency with Okung. Not to mention, Sherrod is so well balanced that I can see the value in that pick. That said, Sherrod, for me, would clearly be behind the 3 DTs I mentioned.

    As always, great work, and appreciate you mixing up the mock drafts rather than just repeating them. Always creates good talking points.

  15. Ralphy


    Do you think there is any chance the Hawks burn their first round pick on signing Sidney Rice?

    • Rob

      Was he tendered?

  16. RazorbackDave

    I have watched every game that was on television of Ryan Mallett the past two years. I have read the Arkansas blogs every day for the past two years. Ryan Mallett is the only quarterback who is NFL ready. He has run a pro style offense, he checks off at the line of scrimmage, and can make EVERY throw. Coach Petrino says he is the hardest working player he has coached and studies films religiously. He also says he is a great leader and the players respected him for this. The NFL teams that interviewed him at the combine were very impressed with him and his knowledge. He has passed every drug test that he was given at Arkansas. I believe the agents for the other quarterbacks knew that he would kill their quarterbacks at the combine and their only chance was to start the drug rumors. When he again threw the ball amazingly at the Arkansas pro day, the only thing you read from the media was his 40 time. I guess they thought this meant he would be sacked a lot. Why don’t any of you who are worried about this, check his number of sacks versus his number of throws and touchdown throws and do the same with Blain Gabbert, Jake Locker, and Cam Newton. I think you will be surprised. The team that gets Ryan Mallett will be very pleasantly surprised and the fans will love him.

  17. mike

    if i had first pick i would take him nd then get o line to support him-this kid is a stud–and the rumors are duds-if there is no evidence u can’t take this slander to court-the state of arkansas ruined my adoption over a hotline report from a mental hospital by a mental patient being treated for delusion-so lies can be deadly.

  18. hambone

    i’m from arkansas -never heard these slanderous rumors till draft time-they hide behind anonymous sources and parrot the same garbage-talk about him being arrogant-but if u hear him talk its yes sir and no sir-polite to elders-hes cocky -but dont u want your qb to think hes best qb in the game-say hes not leader but coaches and teammates say different.if u repeat a lie enough times folks will believe. hope-if he must fall my team will get him.

  19. michael

    if i had first pick i would take ryan mallet-cam is not ready for pro game.

  20. michael

    ryan mallet is experienced in pro style-cam is not ready for pro game.

  21. mike

    allbright said mallett had dui–lie-public intox.–he said mallett was drunk and missed meeting with panthers–heyyyy- ask the panthers they even dispute this–he said mallett was not captain of his team-another lie-he said he was not a leader-well ask his fellow razorbacks or coach about this–as for as sugar bowl loss watch the game and see if dropped passes wasnt more of a problem-heeeeee-Patriots would have not took him if they believed these draft monsters -as far as other gms and coaches u got played.

  22. mike

    to ben albright aka the kc liar–mallett is doing just fine—lies repeated one million times still end up being lies.

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