2011 NFL Draft Results: Can Ryan Mallett Learn in New England Behind Tom Brady?

Michael Bielecki@mbieleckiContributor IIIApril 30, 2011

Ryan Mallett has two things which can't be coached—superior arm strength and 6'7" height.

 The talented Arkansas signal caller became the 74th pick of the NFL Draft last night when the New England Patriots selected him with their third-round pick.

Mallett's talent is undeniable, and many draft experts called him the most talented thrower in the entire draft.  

If that is so, why were six quarterbacks taken above him? There were several reasons why Mallett waited so long for his draft day phone call. Among them are:

-An inability to win the three biggest games of his career (Alabama, Auburn, and Ohio State this past season).

-Character concerns stemming from circumstances surrounding his transfer from Michigan in 2008.

-His unwillingness to answer questions of illegal drug use during his NFL Draft Combine press conference.

-Lack of agility and foot speed (5.3 40 time)

When the Patriots snagged Mallett in the third round, though, they got him at the right price and they are putting him in an ideal situation.

He'll have an opportunity to learn from another great Michigan quarterback (he played behind Chad Henne as a freshman in 2007 before transferring to Arkansas) in Tom Brady, who is still one of the best and brightest quarterbacks in the NFL.  

Barring injury, Mallett's only two jobs on Sundays in 2011 will be to learn the complicated Patriots offense and read NFL defenses.

Great pick for New England, great situation for Mallett.

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