Ryan Mallett: Arkansas Razorbacks QB Is Less Than Meets the Eye

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent INovember 19, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06:  Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks 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

In what has been dubbed the year of the quarterback, Ryan Mallett is considered to be a among the best of the 2011 NFL Draft class. Standing at 6 feet 6 inches tall, Mallett possesses a rocket arm and prototypical size to succeed at the next level.

However, the Razorback standout has glaring issues with his intelligence, mobility, accuracy, crunch time performance and effort that make him no more than a high upside project pick.

Ryan Mallett has wowed scouts with his numbers and his arm strength throughout his collegiate career. And while it is difficult to ignore his production and raw physical skills, it is worth noting that Mallett has done all of this within Bobby Petrino’s production friendly scheme down in Arkansas.

When watching the highlights of Mallett, it is clear that the difficulty of his completions is not very high. Mallett often throws to wide open receivers with a clean pocket. It remains to be seen whether or not Mallett is willing and capable to put in the time and effort to be able to make difficult throws into tight windows.

Another attribute that jumps out on tape is Ryan Mallett’s statue-like mobility. When Ryan Mallett is on his game, it is because he has a clean pocket with which to work. Whenever faced with pressure, Mallett’s mechanics and accuracy both become atrocious.

This shows a complete lack of poise on Mallett’s part. In the NFL the best quarterbacks can deliver under pressure, either through plain toughness or great pocket manipulation. Mallett has neither.

Speaking of lack of poise, Mallett has proven to be incapable of delivering in crunch time. Against Alabama, with a chance to knock off the No. 1 team in the country, Ryan Mallett delivered a number of questionable and inaccurate passes which were detrimental to his team’s success.

I was very unimpressed with Mallett’s lack of leadership and composure on the big stage. If he wants to play on Sundays, it is essential that he steps up in big moments.

Mallett may have all of the physical tools in the world, but draft history tells us that NFL success is determined by much more than talent. When it comes down to the intangibles, handling pressure, whether it be in the pocket or in big moments, and work ethic and intelligence are the most important to a quarterback.

Ryan Mallett has question marks in all of these areas, making it difficult to grade him as any more than a high upside second rounder.