Ryan Mallett: Why Arkansas' Golden Boy Should Test the SEC One More Year

Ashton GilstrapContributor INovember 10, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06:  Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks calls a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ryan Mallett is the best pure pocket passer in NCAA football today. His cannon arm is unmatched by anyone in the league, and his presence and height in the pocket give him an advantage over even the stoutest of defenses.

Despite his terrific offensive skills, and the fact that the best receiving corps in the nation is at his disposal, the Razorbacks are at 7-2 during a season when many Hog hopefuls thought we could make a legitimate title run.

Ryan Mallett’s draft stock is soaring along with his numbers, and the No. 15 jersey will be on someone else’s back next year as Mallett begins his journey in the pros.

Or will it?

Ryan Mallett, in all respects, should come back for his last year. His interception total is higher, and two injuries in two games resulted, at least to some degree, in a cutting of his stats. One of Arkansas' two losses came when Mallett had to leave the game with a concussion.

The Razorback nation would enjoy nothing more than to see Mallett back for another year, and I think that there is a case for why most of the team should return.

The Razorbacks are significantly better this year than they were last year. A droll appearance in the Liberty Bowl is a far cry from the well-oiled machine that is Arkansas this year. With one more year of maturity, assuming Greg Childs, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Dennis Johnson all return, the Razorbacks would have the potential to be a No. 1 team.

With the SEC West as stacked as it is this year, it comes as no surprise that only one team is left undefeated: Auburn. Next year, however, will see the departure of many key SEC players, such as Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and possibly even Cam Newton.

The division, although it will still be difficult, will be there for the taking next year if Mallett stays. Because Mallett is a true homebody and loves the Razorback nation very much, surely he can identify with this potential, and come back for one more year.

Completely ignoring that, one has to look at the quarterback class that is emerging from this year. Although it isn’t perhaps as name-laden as last year, it’s still a huge class. We’re looking at Kellen Moore, Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, possibly Greg McElroy, Christian Ponder and others to all be looking for a big draft time pay day.

Mallett can sit out one more year, and if he has the same or better kind of year next year, he’d be looking at a lock for the No. 1 pick, a huge payday and the possibility of bringing a title back to the fans that hasn’t been here for 40 odd years.

Mallett should come back. He can win more, make more money and be the hero of a state starving for football greatness.