Oakland Raiders: If Ryan Mallet Falls to the Raiders Is He Worth the Risk?

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IMarch 8, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As it stands right now, the Oakland Raiders are adamantly committed to quarterback Jason Campbell. According to Hue Jackson the coaching staff, Al Davis and the players are fully behind Campbell. They believe that if Jason Campbell can receive adequate protection, for once in his career, the Raiders will win.

But not all of Raider Nation is sold on Jason Campbell. He is the only QB under contract in Oakland and some fans aren't happy with him being named the unquestioned starter without the slightest bit of competition. Many believe that Campbell is not the answer and the Raiders need to invest in their future by drafting a QB.

Without a first-round draft pick though, the Raiders seem out of luck in terms of drafting a franchise QB. But with some recent events it seems as though one of the most talented QBs in the draft may be falling into the Raiders' laps.

Just over a month ago Ryan Mallet was a first-round lock, expected by many to go third overall to the Buffalo Bills.

Since then though his draft stock has been plummeting. Experts have been comparing him to other draft busts like Jimmy Clausen, JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf as his maturity and character have come into question.

In 2009 he was arrested for public intoxication and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor. There are also numerous rumors about off-field issues, baggage and even drug use.

And more recently Mel Kiper removed this 6'6'', 238-pound quarterback from his "big board," which includes the top 25 draft prospects.

Draft analysts have had a lot of negative things to say about the kid.

Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com said via Twitter, "Mallett almost certain to drop out of 1st [round]" and "Wouldn't shock me to see Mallett fall to the 3rd."

In an article for the National Football Post, Wes Bunting quoted one scout saying, "I got stuff on Mallett that no one even knows about and I wouldn’t touch him.” Bunting also tweeted, "Don't trust Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett...end of story, guy rubs me the wrong way and he wouldn't be on my draft board. Period." 

There are a few problems with these allegations of character issues and comparisons to Jimmy Clausen, JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf.

First off, aside from a 2009 arrest there is nothing concrete to suggest anything negative about Mallet. Take Wes Bunting's quote of the local scout: "I got stuff on Mallett that no one even knows about and I wouldn’t touch him."

Really? Like what? How about elaborating on that?

Next, these "experts" are the same guys who were so high on Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell and Jimmy Clausen. If Mallet is anything like these guys, shouldn't the "experts" be worshipping the ground he walks on?

On one hand Mallet has the skill set and potential that enticed the Raiders to draft JaMarcus Russell and there is talk of Mallet being the next Ben Roethlisberger. Yet on the other hand he may have the same character issues and potential to blow up in the face of the team that decides to draft him.

Despite the failures of JaMarcus Russell. Comparisons to the big bodied quarterback may be exactly what interests the Raiders in Ryan Mallet. Forget about the arrest, alleged drug addictions, immaturity and cocky attitude. Ryan Mallet has the same size, arm strength and potential that enticed the Raiders to draft JaMarcus Russell.

Ryan Mallet may very well be the QB that JaMarcus Russell was supposed to be.

If Ryan Mallet truly does fall to the Raiders, what should they do? Should they err on the side of caution and pass on a talented QB who may be the next big thing and a franchise QB? Or should they pull the trigger on a controversial player who may have the same toxic character flaws of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf?

Is Ryan Mallet worth a second-round pick to the Oakland Raiders? Or better yet what do the Raiders do if he falls to the third?

In my opinion the Raiders should avoid Mallet, as well as all of the QBs in the draft. I feel the Raiders need to sort out the uncertainties on the O-line before they even think about drafting a QB; the Raiders' best option for a suitable backup for Jason Campbell may lie in free agency anyway.

The Raiders options at QB via free agency are Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Frye, Kyle Boller, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Tarvaris Jackson, Troy Smith, Dennis Dixon and numerous others.

If you have a different opinion I would like to hear why.