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2011 NFL Draft Results: Why Ryan Mallett Will Be a Disaster in New England

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Dexter Larimore #72 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sacks Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second quarter 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
Adam HirshfieldFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2011

Ryan Mallett’s 2011 NFL Draft free fall finally ended with the 74th pick overall, when the New England Patriots selected him early in the third round on Friday night.

Mallett had an impressive junior season in 2010 at Arkansas—where he transferred from Michigan following the 2007 season—throwing for 3,869 yards and 32 touchdowns and just 12 picks in leading the Razorbacks to a 10-3 record.

In fact, Mallett posted two straight seasons with 3,000-plus passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He’s a huge quarterback—standing over 6’6”—and has a rocket for an arm.

But there are certain kinds of players who succeed in New England in the Bill Belichick regime. They’re relatively clean-cut, they keep their mouths shut and they do what they’re told.

As much as Tom Brady has become a playboy of sorts known for his Bieber-esque coif and his supermodel wife, Brady is a system quarterback who plays his role in the offense and rarely tries to force things.

Ryan Mallett is another story.

He transferred from Michigan when it became clear that he wasn’t a good fit with then-coach Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense.

Yes, Mallett has put up impressive stats as a collegian, he has a rocket for an arm and he has a considerable amount of raw talent.

But there are major concerns about his character.

In interviews during the NFL Combine, he reportedly admitted to past drug use. He was also once arrested for public intoxication at Arkansas.

“Some NFL teams are concerned about Mallett's reputation as a ‘big party guy,’ according to [Pro Football Weekly],” it was reported by the Sporting News.

I’m sure he’ll say all the right things. And I’m sure he’ll garner plenty of attention for coming into camp as Brady’s presumed replacement. He’s another project that Bill Belichick will take under his wing and try to shape and mold into a solid pro.

And he may be successful. I hope he is.

But Mallett will not fit in with the Patriots. Belichick won’t have enough time in his day to expend the necessary effort to keep Mallett under wraps.

Mallett could have been a solid project for a team looking to grow and build over the course of several years: your Raiders, 49ers or Cardinals.

But the Patriots are a team that’s looking to win now in a steadily closing window for its stars, and Mallett doesn’t fit that mold at all.

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