2011 NFL Draft: Why Ryan Mallett's Character Concerns Shouldn't Be an Issue

Andrew RobesonAnalyst IIApril 19, 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

Ryan Mallett is an extremely talented quarterback. Yet the only stories we hear about him and the 2011 NFL draft have to do with a supposed character issue.

Mallett's numbers were insane last season, as he threw for over 3,800 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in the ultra-tough SEC. Every season, his completion rate consistently rose. 

The guy is absolutely built to be a success. He stands 6'7'', weighs 235 pounds and can nearly throw the ball the entire field (okay, slight hyperbole).

His teammates, who expected him to be a "douchebag" after he transferred from Michigan, according to Arkansas WR Jarius Wright via Fox Sports, instead voted him captain in his junior and senior seasons.

But only one statistic seems to matter to NFL teams: one arrest.

That arrest wasn't for beating a girlfriend, doing cocaine or getting in a bar fight. It was for being drunk in public as a 20-year-old.

What an awful offense! What 20-year-old drinks these days? That's just unacceptable!

We've all heard the rumors about rampant drug use. But they're just that, rumors.

Are you telling me that if Mallett were truly running around Arkansas doing coke every chance he got some college kid wouldn't take a picture and throw it on Facebook? Heck the market for a picture of Mallett doing coke would pay some Arkansas student's tuition for a semester.

Oh, and there's the small fact that he's never failed a drug test.

Go search Ryan Mallett and cocaine together. You'll get a bunch of random message boards, and not a single credible source. The headline that was my personal favorite was the superb title of "Person Claims Ryan Mallett Used Marijuana and Cocaine."

The fact that Mallet's character is being called into question like he is some kind of career criminal is ridiculous. Maybe it's because the NFL executives are out of touch.

Do they really believe that these college athletes don't party? Do they really expect them to be perfect?

NFL teams are concerned that Mallett is too much of a partier. Yet somehow he showed up every Saturday for the last two seasons and performed for Arkansas. The hangovers couldn't have been that bad for him to put up the numbers he did.

Instead of being taken in the first half of the first round, where his talent should probably place him, some experts are saying Mallett is a second-rounder. The most extreme opinions are that Mallett will have one of the biggest draft day falls ever.

It's all stupid. What we know for sure about Ryan Mallett is that he is an immense talent. Everything else is almost pure speculation. I just want to know which NFL team will have the guts to ignore it all and roll the dice.

Teams that have shown interest in Mallett include the Minnesota Vikings, the Tennessee Titans and the Miami Dolphins.

Ryan Mallett will not be a Ryan Leaf, but one NFL team will end up benefiting greatly from all the rumors.